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Jodi Johnston Leaving Ch.2 To Become Face of First Niagara

Channel 2 “Daybreak” and 5 p.m. anchor Jodi Johnson is leaving the station after the November sweeps to take a job in private banking.

Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner made the announcement to his staff this morning.

Jodi Johnston: Leaving for Bankers Hours

Johnson has been at the station for a dozen years, working a split shift.

She is the latest news reporter or anchor who will be leaving the field to take a job in media relations. She is headed to First Niagara, where she is expected to be the face and spokesperson for the bank. (According to a First Niagara release, Johnston’s official title is director of corporate media relations and first vice president, responsible for managing external communications strategy and execution). Victoria Hong left her job as morning co-anchor at Channel 4 this summer for a similar job in media relations at Delaware North.

Johnston most likely had tired of a work schedule that required her to get up at 3 in the morning for years and left for a job that should give her more of a normal family life.

In a telephone conversation late Friday, Johnston acknowledged the hours were part of her decision but added her First Niagara job “was a great opportunity at a great company.”  

Toellner said the station has a few months to find Johnston’s replacement because she will be working at the station through November. 

“We’ll take our time and we will find the right person,” said Toellner.  


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14 responses to "Jodi Johnston Leaving Ch.2 To Become Face of First Niagara"

  1. Tina says:

    I’m surprised that she just didn’t drop the morning spot and continue to do the 5 o’clock one. Maybe they wouldn’t let her but I imagine she was exhausted from doing both.

  2. Rob says:

    This sounds like good news all the way around. I know she is popular but that fake anchor concern drove me nuts so I won’t miss that. She also has a kid in grammar school so good for her that she will have the time to see him grow up. If she is the new spokesperson for FN then we won’t have to see or hear the CEO who had some of the worst commercials ever so that’s good news for all!

  3. Dave says:

    Wow, Rob, I could have written your reply. I think I actually may have cheered when I read this.

    I cannot stand her newsreading, and anyone who has been a regular reader of Alan’s blog knows how much I’ve dogged her over the years.

    And I think I commented (in a Facebook status) a while ago about how awful the First Niagara commercials with their “let’s rock ‘n’ roll, Buffalo” CEO sound.

    I will enjoy Daybreak so much more now. I wonder who they will move there? Melissa Holmes?

    • Tom W. says:

      Melissa Holmes I think would definitely be considered. Keep in mind that she has been doing well with the 10pm show in the fact that ratings have remained constant while 4 has been losing viewership.

      Don’t be surprised if Heather Ly or Mary Friona gets bumped up because both have been doing some anchoring for a while now. Or, 2 could go outside and find someone to fill the spot.

      In either case, 2 usually doesn’t take long to fill staff openings. Perfect example- less than 3 months from when Ben Hayes left until Jonah Javad took his place. More than 3 years from when Robin Adams left until Lauren Brill came in.

      • Tina says:

        Not a big fan of Mary Friona,she needs more time to polish her anchor skills. Heather is fine but certainly doesn’t have the same level of attractiveness that Jodi does. Too bad Marissa didn’t stick around.

      • The shift is killer. Who would want to be up at 3 and still be working the 5 PM news cast. That is a long day.

        I think Melissa Holmes is ideal because she is attractive and has anchor experience.

        Heather Ly is OK, but she could stand to cut her teeth on 10 PM or weekends. But Michael Wooten seems to have solidified his position as the weekend anchor with Maria Genero.

  4. gary says:

    “Fake anchor concern” Rob, you hit the nail right on the head.

  5. Tina says:

    Wow, poor Jodi is taking beating here. I didn’t think she was that bad and I actually saw her concern as genuine. She seems like that kind of person. What is worse is when an anchor smiles when she should be showing some “fake anchor concern”.

  6. Tina says:

    Are you trying to tell me that I have been unreasonably optimistic and positive about Jodi and her abilities as an anchor? I find her vibe kind and sincere, not fake at all.

    • Dave says:

      News anchor banter is rarely “sincere.” It is 99% pandering, self-congratulatory inanity or segue-inspiration.

      And I never took her reading style as sincere concern. It was faux concern, at best. Stylized incredulity.

  7. Cindy says:

    I am glad I can resume watching Ch. 2 in a few months. John and Andy are great, but Jodi just didn’t seem to relate to the average Joe here in Buffalo, she was annoying to watch.

    And, how many think news anchors should dress like they are at work, not a cocktail party?

  8. I live in Canada, Niagara Falls, Ontario, and I loved watching day-break. I think Jodi was great doing day-break and the 5p.m news.Hope she has a great future to where she is headed.

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