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

The Beat Goes On

Apr 14, 2020

Even while in isolation, there’s still plenty to do in Rochester. Now that we’re getting the hang of social distancing, local musicians and arts organizations have stepped up their online game so we can all get through this together, virtually. Our partner, City Newspaper, has been curating an arts calendar listing events. You can get to the calendar here or at the link on the sidebar on the WRUR home page.

Sex, Death, & Money / Courtesy of the Artist

We lost two musical giants this week: Bill Withers and John Prine. In this radio hour, Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale shares her conversations with these two songwriters -- interviews that are filled with wisdom, beauty, and, of course, irreverent humor and music. The show airs Monday at 7PM on Different Radio.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WRUR has had to make schedule changes immediately. This is in part out of concern for the health of our program hosts, the cancellation of classes at the University of Rochester, and in accordance with directives and guidelines from governmental authorities. You can check the schedule changes at our program schedule link under programs from the home page.

Emerging musicians: Think you've got what it takes to perform at the iconic Tiny Desk? If so, NPR wants to hear from you!

Ryan Yarmel, better known as Yarms in the area music scene, is one of WRUR's newest show hosts. His new show airs on Thursdays at 6PM. He is not new to Different Radio. Ryan has filled in on Open Tunings when Scott Regan has been away. With an eclectic music mix that ranges from Americana and Folk, to Indie Rock, he hoped to also present live music of the local scene, including artists who may be in town for a gig. Tune in each week for Radioland with Yarms, on Different Radio, WRUR Rochester and WITH Ithaca. 

Scott Housley

Revered songwriter David Olney (born March 23, 1948) died Saturday, January 18, 2020, after suffering an apparent heart attack during a performance in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. He was 71.

A key member of Nashville’s music community since his move to Music City in 1973, the Lincoln, Rhode Island native was a compelling and enigmatic presence. He wrote sonnets and starred at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and his live concerts blended tenderness and ferocity, theatre and sincerity, agitation and embrace.

WRUR is giving you some extra musical treats for your Thanksgiving Holiday. In addition to a special Open Tunings at 9AM on Thursday, you’re invited to a Thanksgiving potluck with Questlove, the co-founder of The Roots and bandleader for The Tonight Show. Quest stops by to talk about his new book, Mixtape Potluck. It’s a collection of recipes from friends like Martha Stewart, Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph paired with music picked by Quest. Save room for dessert. It’s Questlove’s Mixtape Potluck, Thursday at 2PM and repeating that night at 8PM.

Raina Douris
Photo by Britney Townsend

WXPN, the member-supported public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania and producer of the NPR-distributed daily music program World Cafe, today announced that Raina Douris will become the new host of World Cafe starting on October 7.

Michael Black

Tune in for this live broadcast from the Memorial Art Gallery’s Clothesline Arts Festival, or stop by and see us there!  Saturday, September 7th 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', and Jen Sally Host of In The Fold, 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.

Dave Burbank

Different Radio will once again be live at the Grassroots Festival this Friday morning beginning at 9:00 during Open Tunings with Scott Regan.