Johnson is known for hosting the NPR program “1A,” and will continue to do so through December 20. The program, produced by Washington D.C.’s WAMU, is focused on issues related to the First Amendment, and is the successor to the long-running NPR program, “The Diane Rehm Show.” His new MSNBC program is poised to start in 2020.
Johnson began his public-radio career when he helped in the launch of a regional news partnership between Miami’s NPR station, WLRN, and The Miami Herald. He also worked as the morning news host for San Francisco’s KQED and co-created and hosted the national public-radio series, “Truth Be Told,” a program that explored race in America.
Johnson announced the news Tuesday via Twitter:
Hey there: I've got big news to share… next year I am starting a new adventure! I'm moving to New York and joining @MSNBC as an anchor! I've been privileged to host @1A from its inception, but the time has come to make the next leap. My last day will be Friday, Dec. 20th.
— Joshua Johnson (@NBCJoshua) November 19, 2019
WAMU bills “1A” as a program that “explores important issues such as policy, politics, technology, and what connects us across the fissures that divide the country. The program also delves into pop culture, sports and humor. 1A’s goal is to act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be.”
Johnson’s place on the MSNBC schedule is not immediately clear. MSNBC could create a weekend show for him, which it has done with other hosts who lacked years of TV experience. Joy Reid hailed from the world of print and online journalism while David Gura previously worked for NPR. MSNBC also airs repeats of its primetime shows on the weekend. An MSNBC spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.