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

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 Dry, Kitestring, and Machine Gun English.

The traumatic aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris pushed Hanni el Khatib in new directions on his latest project, Savage Times.

Jennifer Jimenez/Courtesy of the artist

  The New Pornographers have been manufacturing power pop records for nearly two decades. On their latest, Whiteout Conditions, they’ve embraced a more synthetic sound and termed it “bubblegum krautrock.” 

You know The Little Theater as the area's premier cultural center for the presentation of American and foreign independent films, along with discussions and educational activities. However, The Little is also a musical hotspot most nights of the week with a variety of artists of different genres performing in The Little Cafe.

Courtesy of the Artist

Chris Stapleton's 2015 album Traveller turned the already successful Nashville songwriter into a mainstream star. His highly anticipated follow-up album From A Room: Volume 1 drops today, and Stapleton joins Nashville correspondent Ann Powers to share it.

Andrew Piccone/Courtesy of the artist

On their sophomore album Pageant, queer punk duo PWR BTTM explode with glitter, grit and a powerful message of inclusion that extends way beyond their roots in the LGBTQ community. Also, on a special Nashville Session, Ann Powers welcomes Ruby Amanfu

This week:  from the famed Fitzgerald Theater, in sunny Saint Paul, Minnesota a rebroadcast of the season finale with  host Chris Thile and guests The Avett Brothers, Jesca Hoop, and comedian Jen Kirkman.

Nickolai Hammar/NPR

  On her new album, Golden Eagle, Holly Macve’s haunting voice and emotionally impactful songs are a reflection of her trying past. 

J.C. Hewlett/Courtesy of the artist

Gorillaz play a set from their first album in seven years, called Humanz. And Portugal. The Man showcase danceable music from their upcoming album, Woodstock.

Brad Barlet/Courtesy of the artist

All American Rock Hall of Famer John Mellencamp is back with his new album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. This collaboration with veteran country artist Carlene Carter promises a grand return to Mellencamp’s eclectic roots.

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