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First Niagara Names Jodi Johnston Director, Corporate Media Relations

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 28, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:FNFG) has named Jodi Johnston to serve as the multi-state bank's Director of Corporate Media Relations and First Vice President, responsible for managing the company's external communications strategy and execution.

Johnston joins First Niagara from WGRZ-TV, where she has served as news anchor and reporter since 2000. In this role, Johnston anchored the "Daybreak" morning show and 5:00 p.m. newscast and served as spokesperson for the station at approximately 50 community events each year. During her tenure, the station's news programming moved to number one rating in the Buffalo, N.Y. market. Since 1999, Johnston has also served as Adjunct Professor of Communication Studies at Canisius College.

"I am thrilled to have someone of Jodi's caliber join our talented team," said David Lanzillo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications. "She brings a strong journalism background as well as energy, intelligence and creativity to a position that is vital to First Niagara's success."

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 her bachelor's in Communication Studies and Master's of Science in Education both from Canisius College.   

About First Niagara

First Niagara, through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., is a multi-state community-oriented bank with nearly 430 branches, approximately $35 billion in assets, $28 billion in deposits, and approximately 6,000 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.firstniagara.com .

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Oliver Hays
         Corporate Communications Manager
         (716) 819-5923
         Oliver.Hays@fnfg.com

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