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

Catch it again Sunday at Noon on WXXI AM 1370.

Catch it again Sunday at Noon on WXXI AM 1370.

This week: we kick off a new season and a new era as Chris Thile steps to the mic to host a live broadcast from our home base, the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Singer, songwriter, guitarist, rock star, and man-about-Nashville Jack White

joins us for a few acoustic tunes. We also welcome Brooklyn's Lake Street Dive 


Monday, October 24, 2016:

Former members of Smith Westerns return as Whitney. Their debut album, Light Upon the Lake, evokes the loneliness and isolation of wintertime in their native Chicago.


Join WRUR at Record Archive on Tuesday, September 6th, for a special listening party for Wilco's new album, Schmico. Record Archive has again been chosen to be part of a group of select record stores around the country to preview an up-coming release and provide exclusive prizes to it's customers.To give you an idea, the next closest place to hear this is Scranton, PA! 


Jul 28, 2016


  Rick Simpson is taking the night off, and instead of Gumbo Variations, we bring you two sets from this year's Newport Folk Festival: The Violent Femmes followed by Ryan Adams and the Incredible String Dusters. Tune in tonight at 6  PM, only on Different Radio. 

  WRUR will stream WXPN's XPoNential Festival from Philadelphia live this weekend, and you can watch and listen to it live on WRUR.ORG. Click on the VUHAUS Song of the Day link, and you will be able to see the festival all weekend long. Here is the line up:

Artist Line-up and Times.  SATURDAY JULY 23rd
12:00PM ET - Kississippi

12:30PM ET – Ben Arnold
1:05PM ET - Esme Patterson

1:45PM ET - The Revivalists

Jazz Corner for Tuesday June 28th at the Rochester Jazz Festival with Scott Regan and Jeff Spevak.

Jazz Corner for Monday June 27th at the Rochester Jazz Festival with Scott Regan and Jeff Spevak.

Do to a major maintenance upgrade of our audio system, WRUR will be off the air starting at 10PM Monday evening, June 27th. The outage should last a few hours, with  restoration as soon as it is completed. We apologize for the inconvenience.