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Brooke Bailey Johnson

Brooke Bailey Johnson (MSJ74) is a member of the Medill Hall of Achievement.

Johnson retired as president of Food Network and Cooking Channel in 2016. First joining Food Network as senior vice president and general manager in May 2003, Johnson was quickly promoted to president, Food Network in April 2004 and later added oversight of Cooking Channel and Food Category Digital. Prior to joining Food Network, Johnson served as senior vice president of programming of A&E and The History Channel, ultimately being promoted to executive vice president, general manager.

Johnson proposed the original concept for History Channel and crafted the programming launch strategy. Johnson began at A&E in 1989 and under her direction, the network tripled its ratings over the next decade. Her early commitment to network-owned, original programming resulted in a 1,500+ hour library, which was the basis for the successful launch of The History Channel, The Biography Channel, and 16 overseas channels. Prior to A&E, Johnson was program director for WABC-TV in New York City, where she launched first locally and then into national syndication “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee.” She served in several capacities at WLS-TV, ABC’s Chicago affiliate, including executive producer of AM Chicago and assistant program director. In addition to her Medill degree, Johnson is a 1973 graduate of Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.