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

This Sunday at 11AM, Rolling Hills Radio will present a reprise of an episode recorded in January of 2016 featuring John & Joe Dady. Joe Dady passed away last week at the age of 61 and was a a key figure in Rochester’s Irish and American Roots Music scene. The program will air this Sunday at 11AM on WRUR 88.5FM in Rochester and WITH 90.1FM in Ithaca. 

Different Radio is attending the NonCommvention at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and you can join in the final day of music discovery by watching the events on the VUHAus stream.

Here is Friday's performance schedule:

Noon

Jay Farrar

Jade Jackson

Different Radio is attending the NonCommvention at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and you can join in the music discovery by watching the events on the VUHAus stream.

Here is Thursday's performance schedule:

Noon

J.S. Ondara

The National

Evening Showcase starts at 7 p.m.

Lula Wiles

Amanda Palmer

Christone “Kindfish” Ingram

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Orville Peck

Andrew Bird

Mattiel

KT Tunstall

Different Radio is attending the NonCommvention at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia and you can join in the music discovery by watching the events on the VUHAus stream.

Here is Wednesday's performance schedule:

Noon

Junius Meyvant

Jealous of the Birds

Devon Gilfillian

Evening Showcase starts at 7:30 p.m.

Chery Glazerr

Kelsey Lu

Wives

Adia Victoria

Ex Hex

Josh Ritter

Ali Awan

Citizen Cope

Strand of Oaks

The Tiny Desk Contest this year is now closed and we thank all the local artists who entered this year. We will have a complete list of local entrants sometime next week and a Tiny Desk Favorites concert sometime in the very near future. You can browse all entries here. Until the complete local list is available, here are a few of the local entrants:

Carole King's iconic career as a singer, songwriter, and pianist extraordinaire is celebrated with a two-hour special, Natural Woman, The Carole King Radio Special. The first hour looks at Carole King's early career when she wrote great hits for other artists - from her first songwriting hit in 1961 at aged 18 Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow to her huge hit for the Monkees Pleasant Valley Sunday.

March is Women's History month, and Different Radio will air a series of specials focusing on some extraordinary women singers and singer-songwriters. Sunday Mornings from 10 am to noon, each week an artist will be featured, This week, March 24th,  Linda Ronstadt will be featured. The remarkable and varied performing career of Linda Ronstadt is explored by a panel of her friends, music writers, musicians and fans.

March is Women's History month, and Different Radio will air a series of specials focussing on some extraordinary women singers and singer-songwriters. Sunday Mornings from 10 am to noon, each week an artist will be featured, This week, March 17th,  Bonnie Raitt will be featured.. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and multiple Grammy-Award winner Bonnie Raitt is profiled in this two hour music and commentary special featuring an exclusive interview with Bonnie as well as comments from Jackson Browne, Taj Mahal, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Maia Sharp, Freebo, Bill Payne, Ann Powers and more.

Once again, Different Radio is partenering with NPRMusic for this year's Tiny Desk Contest!

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