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

On his third album, This Old Dog, Mac Demarco reaches a striking level of maturity, studying the work of his songwriting heroes James Taylor and Paul Simon, and penning a few pieces inspired by the failing health of his long absent father.

Courtesy of the Artist

Australian rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever cite fellow Aussies The Go-Betweens as an influence. On the next World Cafe they’ll perform songs off their debut EP for Sub Pop Records called The French Press. And we’ll hear the Cinderella story about how they got signed.

Missed the NonCommvention? You can catch up with the WRUR Song of the Day from VuHaus. Here is the schedule this week and you can watch the performances on the VuHaus Link:

Mon 5/22/17 The Mavericks  "Come on to Me" The Mavericks play a unique style of outlaw country that also includes elements of Latin music and Rockabilly.  (From WXPN from Non-Comm 2017)

Jake Buntjer/Courtesy of the artist

  On his latest release called My Spirit Sister, Joshua James explores questions about fidelity and fears about fatherhood with staggering honesty. He talks about being raised in the Mormon church and why he left, and performs dark, stark Americana on the World Cafe.   

Only One week away! On Thursday, May 25, Different Radio will sponsor a Tiny Desk Favorites Concert at Three Heads Brewing Beer Garden (186 Atlantic Avenue), with The Mighty High And DryKitestring, and Machine Gun English.

Courtesy of the Artist

British duo Goldfrapp fuse infectious electronic beats with lush natural imagery on their new release, Silver Eye

Galea McGregor / WXPN

  Josh Tillman, alias Father John Misty, has never been one to shy away from controversy. On his latest album, Pure Comedy, he confronts capitalism, religion, and popular music.   

You can watch live concerts from this Non-Commvention from World Cafe Live in Philadelphia 5/17- 5/19. You can Access it from the VUHAUS Link on our home page.

Courtesy of the Artist

Last year, Inuit throat singer and Björk collaborator Tanya Tagaq released her fourth studio album, a deeply political body of work that protests violence against women, indigenous peoples, and the environment.

Courtesy of the Artist

Matthew Logan Vasquez took time away from Delta Spirit to realize his new solo project, a record called Does What He Wants that projects optimism in the face of uncertainty and restlessness.

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