Boise Anchor Mark Johnson Retires After 30 Years at KTVB

Mark Johnson KTVB
(Image credit: KTVB)

Mark Johnson, a sports and news anchor at KTVB-TV, Boise, Idaho, for 30 years, announced plans to retire on Dec. 23.

Starting as a sports anchor, Johnson was with KTVB from 1983 to 1988. Then, as his station bio states, the Edward R. Murrow and Emmy award winner “returned to Idaho’s Newschannel 7 in April of 1996….and who could blame him?!”

He was promoted to become the station’s main news anchor in 2003.

“He puts his whole heart into his journalistic work and support of community service events. His immense contributions to the success of KTVB and his colleagues is immeasurable,” said Lisa Chavez, director of content at the station. “Mark has provided our audience with steadfast, trustworthy, authentic news coverage with a personality all his own.”

Johnson became something of a national sensation earlier this year when he updated his bio and the station released a tweet with no information other than his name, picture and a link to the bio. 

The mysterious Tweet spawned online memes, one showing two pictures of Johnson claiming he created the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. Stephen Colbert noted the sensation on his Late Night show in April, showing a doctored picture of Harry Truman holding up a copy of the Chicago Tribune with the headline “Mark Johnson.”

Colbert Mark Johnson

Stephen Colbert's contribution to the Mark Johnson Twitter sensation.

Johnson himself noted the kerfuffle in one of his “Just Sayin’” segments. “After everything we have all been through in this past year, and with so many looking for even a momentary diversion and a little levity from the daily grind, If this little Twitter event, provided that then I guess I can chuckle along with everyone else at my expense,” he said..

Before joining KTVB, Johnson started his TV sports career in 1981 at KFVS-TV, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, before joining KTVB in 1983. He left in 1988 for WISN-TV, Milwaukee, then moved to WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, before returning to Boise in 1996.

He covered a Super Bowl, a World Series, Fiesta Bowls, NCAA basketball tournaments and five Olympic games, winning a national Edward R. Murrow award for his work involving the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics

“It has been a blessing and an incredible honor to serve our region while working at the most amazing station in America for the better part of my life. I never imagined I would go to so many places around the country and the world to cover events and stories that mattered to Idahoans,” Johnson said.

“More importantly for me, being able to live and raise a family in such an amazing community while working with hundreds of colleagues who have been more like a family to me has been the greatest gift,” said Johnson. “It’s time for me to start enjoying the next chapter of my life with my wonderful wife, four children (two of them adults and two of them headed to college) and my first grandson. Though I will miss the daily rush of the newsroom and the front row seat to the news of the day, I look forward to taking a step back and enjoying all of the wonders Idaho has to offer.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.