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

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

Monday       August 21  7 - 9  PM    Lakeshore@The Little: Debbie Kendricks Project

Tuesday       August 22 7 - 9  PM    Flower City Beer Choir

Wednesday August 23  7 - 9 PM    Lakeshore@The Little: Chris Wilson

Thursday     August 24  7 - 9 PM    Woody Dodge

Friday          August 25   8-10 PM   Oliver Haynes

Saturday      August 26  8-10 PM    Tasty Parker and the Joy Riders

Davis Factor/Courtesy of the artist

Sex Pistols' guitarist Steve Jones shares wild, touching, and often shocking stories from his memoir Lonely Boy. From his working class childhood, to his downward spiral into heroin addiction, and the time he stole David Bowie’s gear, Jones talks about defining punk rock and surviving it, on an encore edition of the World Cafe.

Courtesy of the Artist

Inspired by her great uncle, a Grenada-born cabaret star, Ala.Ni, has been singing since childhood. It shows on her new, acapella album, You & I.  She reflects on the secret love affair that inspired it and more, today on the World Cafe. https://www.vuhaus.com/embed/v2/videos/a594467e-c7a9-4d40-9528-c0a0a096a22e?autostart=false#

Adam Kissick

TuneIn and NPR Music are on the ground at the 2017 Newport Folk Festival, streaming live sets from across its three stages. TuneIn's Newport Folk Radio channel will bring you live music from Newport, Rhode Island, from 12-7pm ET each day of the festival. Artists confirmed for the live webcast include Big Thief, John Paul White of The Civil Wars, The Wild Reeds, and Pinegrove, but expect to hear from many more. You can use the player on our homepage on the right or the player from this post.

Courtesy of the Artist

Feist is back with her first album in six years; it's called Pleasure. Tune in to the World Cafe to find out more about the complex emotions behind the record and how it represents a period of reflection for the famed Canadian singer.   

DANNY CLINCH / COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

  On the World Cafe today is Jason Isbell, one of Nashville's most acclaimed singer-songwriters, who recently released a new album called The Nashville Sound. Hear him discuss the dual meaning behind the album title and what he thought about when writing the track “White Man’s World”.   

EVA VERMANDEL / COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

Legendary British folk singer, Shirley Collins, performs music from Lodestar, her first release in nearly four decades in an encore edition of the next World Cafe. She shares the painful personal experience that kept her from singing for decades and what finally led her back to recording. 

Galea McGregor / WXPN

  It's the start of encore week, and Josh Tillman, who performs as Father John Misty, tackles survival, capitalist greed, climate change and the apocalypse on his latest album Pure Comedy. He talks about the humanity, humor and heart behind it, and performs live in an encore edition of the next World Cafe.   

A rebroadcast from December 2016  from The Town Hall in New York City, New York. Marcus Mumford sings "I Was Young When I Left Home" and "I Will," Corinne Bailey Rae performs "Hey, I Won't Break Your Heart" and "Put Your Records On," and Trevor Noah talks with Chris Thile about succeeding in succeeding.

Shawn Brackbill

After a 6-year hiatus, Fleet Foxes are back with a new album called Crack-Up. The band performs live music showcasing the folk-tinged harmonies they’re known and loved for, and lead singer Robin Pecknold tells Talia Schlanger about some of the creative forces that shaped the album including a trilogy of essays by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Friday at 2 PM on Different Radio

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