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

Over the past six years, nearly 30,000 musicians have entered NPR's annual Tiny Desk Contest in the hopes of being chosen to perform as part of NPR Music's signature music discovery series. Now, NPR is once again calling for bands and musicians to submit a video. Contest winners have gone on to tour the world, sign with major labels, open for legendary performers and even receive Grammy awards.

The opportunity to make your dream to perform at the iconic Tiny Desk come true is here: NPR wants to hear from you! The Tiny Desk Contest is back and it will be more fun than ever before with brand-new virtual events including the Tiny Desk Contest Family Hour, a Tiny Desk Trivia Night and the return of the Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf video series.

Music 101 is part music/part history lesson with your teacher and host Margot Chobanian . Every week, she highlights a different chapter in music history, bringing you songs you love and the stories behind them. Music 101 explores how music and history both affect one another, while highlighting topics like The Wrecking Crew, banned and censored songs, the Civil Rights Movement, CBGB’s, the Hammond organ in rock — and much more.  “I have so much fun putting together Music 101! Context creates a deeper connection to the music.

Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was is the story of radio’s role in the 20th century transformation of the African American community. First aired in 1996, the specials have been reformatted into six hours for 2021. Original host Lou Rawls guides us, with new narration from original producer Jacquie Gales Webb.

Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was is the story of radio’s role in the 20th century transformation of the African American community. First aired in 1996, the specials have been reformatted into six hours for 2021. Original host Lou Rawls guides us, with new narration from original producer Jacquie Gales Webb.

Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was is the story of radio’s role in the 20th century transformation of the African American community. First aired in 1996, the specials have been reformatted into six hours for 2021. Original host Lou Rawls guides us, with new narration from original producer Jacquie Gales Webb. Through interviews, historical airchecks, comedy, drama, and music, the series reveals the remarkable correlation between milestones of Black radio programming and African American culture.

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans is a three hour documentary hosted by Haitian-American and New Orleans based artist and musician, Leyla McCalla, a founding member of Our Native Daughters & alumna of the GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Leyla’s work unearthing history and musical tradition, combined with her knowledge of cultural hybridization and her own identity as a Haitian-American have given her a unique voice and perspective.

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans is a three hour documentary hosted by Haitian-American and New Orleans based artist and musician, Leyla McCalla, a founding member of Our Native Daughters & alumna of the GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Leyla’s work unearthing history and musical tradition, combined with her knowledge of cultural hybridization and her own identity as a Haitian-American have given her a unique voice and perspective.

Acoustic Cafe on WRUR

Jan 22, 2021

Acoustic Café is a two hour weekly radio show, produced and hosted by Rob Reinhart, who started the show in 1995. It airs each week on WRUR, now at it's new Sunday morning time of 6 AM. It repeats Sunday evening at 6PM.

We have some new weekend shows and shows moved times recently, so we thought to put the changes in a quick note. As always, you can check out the current schedule at https://www.wrur.org/schedule

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