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

Time to Lay It Down ~ The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War is a two-part documentary special that explores the music created during the Vietnam War, which expressed the deep divisions in the U.S., and provided a life line for GIs in Vietnam, as well as a source of healing when they came home.

Tune in for this live broadcast from the Memorial Art Gallery’s Clothesline Arts Festival, or stop by and see us there!  Saturday, September 9th 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, Mike Murray of Whole Lotta' Shakin' and Jen Sally, host of In the Fold. 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.

Adam Kissick for NPR

Different Radio will air concert sets from this year's Newport Folk Festival from 9AM to Noon, and again 6PM to Midnight. Wilco, John Prine, Shovels & Rope,  and Hurray for the Riff Raff are just some of the acts you can hear. It all starts Monday, Labor Day, at 9AM, only on Different Radio, WRUR 88.5 FM and WITH 90.1 FM. 

Here is the lineup (times aproximate):

9:00  AM  John Prine & Friends

10:10 AM  Marlon William

10:46 AM  Wilco

September at The Little Cafe: (follow link for more information)

Thursday August 31 (7-9pm) Crossmolina

Friday September 1 (8-10pm) Seth Faergolzia (Seth Sings Soft Songs Pt. 2)

Saturday September 2  (8-10pm) Laura Dubin Duo

Sunday September 3 (7-9pm) Classical Guitar Night

Monday September 4 (7-9pm)  Bossa Nova Bradley Brothers

Tuesday September 5 (7-9pm) "Honky Tonk" Henry Kearse

Wednesday September 6 (7-9pm)  The Rita Collective

Joshua Black Wilkins

  Jake La Botz has been as been a roofer, factory worker, actor and a heroin addict.  Now clean and sober, he lives in Nashville and teaches meditation among his many artistic pursuits. He works his life experiences into the songs on his latest release, Sunnyside – a blues album with an edge. Jake La Botz performs on the next World Café, Thursday at 2 PM. 

Courtesy of the Artist

Indie folk band The Wooden Sky are known in their hometown of Toronto for lightning-in-a-bottle live shows. They visit World Café to perform songs from their latest album Swimming in Strange Waters. Plus, lead singer Gavin Gardener shares one of the best "first guitar" stories ever, involving a plane with no door and Ritchie Valens.

Todd Owyoung

Rock and Roll legend, Chuck Berry, recently passed away at the age of 90. Three months after his death, Berry?s final album, Chuck, was released? one last gift to all his loving and dedicated fans. Chuck Berry's son Charles Berry Jr. played guitar on the album and joins us to share stories of growing up, recording and touring with his late father on the next World Cafe.

Juan Queirolo

It's an indie dance-pop rave-up with Javiera Mena for World Cafe's Latin Roots session!  Get ready to move to a live performance that showcases why the Chilean songstress is so beloved at home, and earned a Latin Grammy nomination here for her last album, 2015's Otra Mena.  Tuesday at 2 PM on Different Radio,

Danny Clinch

For more than fifty years, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has kept the pulse of New Orleans’ musical traditions strong, but the rhythms of their latest album So It Is are infused with inspiration from the band’s recent trip to Cuba. Preservation Hall Jazz Band delivers an explosive performance guaranteed to make you move on the next World Cafe.

Courtesy of the Artist

Katie Crutchfield's new Waxahatchee album Out in the Storm came after the end of a difficult relationship - but she wants listeners to focus on is how the songs touch their own experiences.  She talks about that, and the support twin sister Allison gave her on this record, as their creative relationship has evolved over the years. Today at 2 PM on Different Radio.

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