Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson / GPB News

Wednesday on Political Rewind: We're revisiting a conversation with former CNN President Tom Johnson. This show originally aired on January 14, 2017.

Johnson honed his skills as a young journalist working at his hometown newspaper, the Macon Telegraph. He went on to serve as a press aide to President Lyndon B. Johnson and eventually became one of LBJ's closest confidants.

Following his career in government, he served as publisher of the Los Angeles Times. There, he took the paper to new heights of respect for its investigative journalism and progressive editorial policies.

Johnson was then named president of CNN, where he worked closely with founder Ted Turner to dramatically raise the profile of the cable news operation. But throughout much of that time, Johnson kept secret a debilitating condition that at times challenged his capacity to keep going day to day.