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

Wednesday April 19, 2017  

Garage blues group Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears play funky tracks from their record Backlash and talk about how their hometown Austin has changed in the past few years 

Tuesday April 18, 2017  

All Gabriel Garzon-Montano wanted to do on his debut album, Jardin, was remind listeners that life is beautiful and delicate. He plays tracks from that album live. In the second hour, guitar savant Eric Krasno performs songs off of his new album, Blood from a Stone

Monday April 17, 2017  

On a Guitar Month Special episode of the World Cafe, Talia spins some of the most iconic guitar songs ever written. 

Friday April 14, 2017  

Soft-spoken singer-songwriter Andy Shauf might not seem like an avid partygoer, but his latest album, The Party, revolves around his experiences at a memorable late-night gathering. 

Thursday April 13, 2017  

On today’s episode of the World Cafe, Chicano Batman joins us in the studio for a special session of Latin Roots and a chat about Latin identity in America and the politically charged Tropicalia roots of their message. 

April 15, 2017 

This week: a rebroadcast of our January 21 show in Pasadena, California with Ryan Adams, Kacey Musgraves, Justin Hurwitz, and Kevin Nealon. 

Join us on the radio, Saturday at 6pm .

Wednesday April 12, 2017  

On her new album, Wyatt At The Coyote Palace, singer-songwriter and author Kristin Hersh is raw, resilient and wildly poetic in the face of extreme adversity. She performs songs from the album live.

Tuesday April 11, 2017  

Before they met in person, Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White discovered their creative kinship via virtual correspondence; they ultimately came together to record a duets album, titled Gentlewoman, Ruby Man.

April 8, 2017 

A rebroadcast from our early-December visit to The Town Hall in New York City with Marcus Mumford, Corrine Bailey Rae, and Trevor Noah.

Join us on the radio, Saturday at 6pm .