WRUR 88.5 Different Radio

Michael Black

Radio Program Manager

I was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, and grew up mostly in and around the Rochester area. I got my radio start at WBKT at Brockport High school as a sophomore, and was its station manager in my senior year in high school. I had caught the radio & TV bug. While in high school, I started working for the local commercial station in town (WWBK/WJBT). While attending SUNY Brockport, I helped build WBSU-FM, and started as an intern for WXXI-TV. I started working for WXXI in the broadcast operations area, and eventually became an online television editor. In 1985, I took a position at WHYY in Philadelphia in their engineering department, working primarily as a video editor, but also provided audio support for TV productions and for some radio productions, including NPR's Fresh Air.

In 1988, I took a position at Hobart & William Smith Colleges as station manager for WEOS, and transformed the station into a public radio service serving the Finger Lakes, including laying the ground work for WITH in Ithaca, which is on the air today. This included expanding coverage area, and increasing local programming that in some cases, went national. A lot of students I worked with have gone into the broadcast industry, including Jonas Schwartz, Chris Carlin, Josh Horowitz, and Dana Glaser, to name a few. I even dabbled in on air play-by-play sports, garnering a Media person of the year award from the USILA for lacrosse broadcasts.

In 2007, I rejoined WXXI as the radio program manager, to oversee WXXI-AM and WRUR, and work on new projects, which now include our partnership with HWS with WEOS and helping to launch WITH in Ithaca. I have a passion for public media and new music, and strive to continue to grow public media. 

I have a passion for craft beers, and actively support the local brewing community. I also am a chili-head! Bring the heat!

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of the Artist

NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest Winner Naia Izumi will be stopping by Open Tunings this morning. Inzumi is peforming later today at RIT's Ingle Auditorium at 6PM. Naia Izumi is a 34-year-old musician from Columbus, Ga. who now lives in Los Angeles and busks on that city's streets. With a plethora of self-released music on Bandcamp and a skilled, soulful Tiny Desk Contest submission, he impressed our Contest judges enough to stand out from nearly 5,000 entries.

Gaelynn Lea performed a great concert in Fariport and Ithaca, and you can stream the album this week. .

This Saturday, WRUR will be broadcasting live as part of the WXXI Open House, from 10AM til 3PM. Scott Regan and John Sebaste will be in Studio 280 as part of our broadcast schedule. In addition, there will be fun, food, and so much more, including: 

Tune in for this live broadcast from the Memorial Art Gallery’s Clothesline Arts Festival, or stop by and see us there!  Saturday, September 8th from 10 AM to Noon on Different Radio, WRUR. Scott Regan will be broadcasting his Open Tunings Saturday program, and will be joined by Maureen Rich, host of Road to Joy, and Mike Murray of Whole Lotta' Shakin', as well as other guests. Join us for great art and music at this year's Clothesline Arts Festival. The program will also air live on WITH, 90.1FM in Ithaca.

On Friday, September 21, Different Radio will sponsor a Tiny Desk Favorites Concert at Three Heads Brewing Beer Garden (186 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester), with  Susanna Rose, Seth Faergolzia and Friends, and The Mighty High and Dry. All three bands were favorites from NPR Music in conjuntion with their Tiny Desk Contest.

Once again, Different Radio, WRUR & WITH, will air concert sets from this year's Newport Folk Festival. A great lineup will be featured starting at 6PM on Labor Day. Here is the lineup, with the aproxmiate times:

6:00 PM           Darlingside

6:41 PM            Brandi Carlile

7:44 PM           Lucius

8:43 PM          Margo Price

9:26 PM          Fantastic Negrito

10:17 PM         Glen Hansard

11:22 PM         The Lone Bellow

12:16 AM         Toots & the Maytals

1:13 AM           Khruangbin

Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Live coverage video on wrur.org   

Detroit will celebrate the life of Aretha Franklin on Friday, August 31st at 10 a.m. EST. Over two dozen people -- including heads of state, a record mogul, and music legends of nearly every description -- will take the stage of the Greater Grace Temple to speak, sing and pray in honor of the gift that Franklin so readily shared with the world.

EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS / GETTY IMAGES

The World Cafe has produced a remembrance of Aretha Franklin's music and amazing life. WRUR will air this special today 2PM.

Rochester's Mikaela Davis comes home for a show and CD release party at Abilene Saturday 8/11 before heading to Europe. She will be showcasing her new album "Delivery". She will join Scott in the studio for an interview and live music Saturday Morning beginning at 10AM.

Different Radio will once again be live at the Grassroots Festival this Friday morning beginning at 9:00 during Open Tunings with Scott Regan. Scott will interview artists in this year's festival, and will include some live performances from the festival site. 

This year's GrassRoots Festival begins Thursday, July 19th and runs through the weekend, with many favorites and special guests, including host Donna the Buffalo, Patty Griffin, Toots & the Maytals, The Wood Brothers, Valerie June, Jim Lauderdale, Keith Frank & Soileau Zydeco, The Campbell Brothers, Driftwood, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Sim Redmond Band, and Big Mean Sound Machine will perform, just to name a few. Here is the complete lineup.

Join us Friday morning beginning at 9:00 for Open Tunings, live from GrassRoots 2018 on Different Radio.

Pages