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

This week, the amazing singer songwriter Nicole Atkins returns with the best album of her career. We've been big fans of Nicole Atkins since her debut album. and on February 4th, She releases a new album. She'll be playing new material as well as some of her older favorites. 

Recent Release: Slow Phaser 

Release Date: February 4, 2014

Label: Self-released

Brooklyn orchestral indie rock outfit San Fermin released the sleeper hit record of 2014 with its self-titled debut. 

Clay Patrick McBride

Eclectic singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash joins us for this week's Free at Noon concert. The Different Radio favorite and daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash is readying her latest full length record, The River and the Thread, for an January 2014 release. The album, written with her husband and longtime collaborator John Leventhal, will be her first album of original material since 2006's acclaimed Black Cadillac. Cash also earned praise recently for 2009's The List, an album covering 12 country music classics from a list her father gave her at age 18.

Red Baraat, led by dhol player Sunny Jain, puts a spin on the Bhangra music of Northern India by mixing in a jazzy brass section and injecting the party vibe of a funk band. The band has released three albums on SinJ Records, most recently Shruggy Ji. Recent Release: Shruggy JiRelease Date: January 15, 2013Label: Sinj

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