Johnston, who has been senior producer of the show, is only the fourth person to lead the show as EP since its launch in 1978 (with original hosts Harold Hayes and Robert Hughes quickly replaced by Hugh Downs).
Johnston will report to David Sloan, senior executive producer of network primetime content, who oversees the news division’s primetime programming.
In a memo to staff, ABC News President James Goldston wrote that Johnston has “been at the helm of critical programming in the last year, including our two-hour broadcast on Vanessa Guillen and three breaking news specials on the COVID-19 pandemic. Janice also led two-hour 20/20 events on John Lennon’s life, legacy and last days, the Yosemite Serial Killer and Robin Roberts’ interviews with three women kidnapped and held captive in Cleveland for a decade.”
Johnston joined 20/20 in 2008, and before that was supervising producer on Good Morning America for ten years. She started at ABC News as a network associate.
She also produced and directed primetime specials such as the town hall The President and The People, Highwire Over Niagara Falls: LIVE, the CMA Awards In the Spotlight series, and documentaries on Dolly Parton, Bobby Brown and Luke Bryan.
20/20 went to a two-hour format two years ago, and it is anchored by Amy Robach and David Muir.