Niagara Gazette

September 29, 2012

A new dawn for Channel 2's Jodi Johnston

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — First Niagara bank announced Friday it has named Jodi Johnston, a WGRZ-TV Ch. 2 morning news anchor, to a public relations position.

Johnston will serve as the bank's director of corporate media relations and first vice president, responsible for managing the company's external communications strategy and execution.

"I am thrilled to have someone of Jodi's caliber join our talented team," said David Lanzillo, senior vice president of corporate communications. "She brings a strong journalism background as well as energy, intelligence and creativity."

Johnston has served as news anchor and reporter at WGRZ since 2000 and in recent years has anchored the "Daybreak" morning show, the "First At Five" newscast and served as spokesperson for the station. The television station announced Johnston's departure on its website, adding she will leave the station in November.

"Twelve years is a long time to wake up at 3 a.m. to be on the air delivering the news as professionally and gracefully as Jodi has," said WGRZ News Director Jeff Woodard. "Her ability to connect with viewers, her genuine presence and demeanor, and her commitment to her community, will be dearly missed."

In the station's announcement, Johnston called the move a "natural progression" in her career. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in television and waking up with Western New Yorkers every day," Johnston added. "I am fortunate to have been offered an opportunity at an organization that shares my passion for this community. "

During her tenure, the station's news programming moved to number one in the Buffalo market. Since 1999, Johnston has also served as adjunct professor of communication studies at Canisius College.

Active in the community, Johnston has served on the Canisius College Board of Regents and as a member of the college's alumni and athletic boards. She has also served as a member of the board of directors for Project Literacy Flight Program and the Buffalo Chapter of the National Kidney Foundation.

Johnston earned a bachelor's in communication studies and master's of science in education from Canisius College.

Channel 2 reports it will begin a search process to find someone to join news man John Beard and meteorologist Andy Parker who anchor the station's "Daybreak" show with Johnston.