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Non-Profit Report: The WXXI Public Broadcasting Council

The WXXI Public Broadcasting Council began in 1958 as the Rochester Area Educational Television Association, and its first few years were dedicated to producing instructional programs for elementary students. The station received a broadcast license in 1966, and Channel 21 began by broadcasting 50 hours of programming a week. The Classical 91.5-FM signed on in 1974 and the AM 1370 in 1984. Today, WXXI operates four television channels and six radio stations, plus offers educational outreach services and a website.

WXXI operates four channels: WXXI-TV (Digital TV 21.1/Cable 11/Cable 1221), a PBS member station, features award-winning children’s shows, plus public affairs, science, and nature programming; WXXI World (DTV 21.2/Cable 1275), for documentary, public affairs and news programming; WXXI Create (DTV 21.3/Cable 1276), for cooking, travel, and how-to programs; and City 12, a partnership with the City of Rochester to provide 14 hours of programming a day for city residents.

The radio services are AM 1370, a National Public Radio member station, for news and public affairs programming; FM Classical 91.5, for music, along with specialty programs such as “A Prairie Home Companion”; Reachout Radio, a reading service providing access to printed materials for people with visual impairments; WXXY 90.3, which broadcasts classical music and NPR programming in Houghton, Allegany County; WRUR-FM 88.5, a partnership with the University of Rochester to provide NPR news and eclectic music programming; WITH-FM 90.1, a partnership in Ithaca, Tompkins County, with Hobart and William Smith Colleges to broadcast music and news; and WEOS-FM 89.5, another HWS partnership in Geneva broadcasting news and music. In addition, WXXI-HD Radio provides the FM classical music programming at FM HD 91.5-1 and the AM news and information programming at FM HD 91.5-2.

WXXI’s Educational Outreach Center delivers educational services to the community through instructional programming, Ready To Learn, Adult Basic Education, on-demand educational video, online resources, social media offerings, informal family learning events, youth media production, in-person outreach initiatives and local educational productions. Professional development offerings include training workshops for educators, caregivers and parents. Professional development and technical assistance to adult literacy programs is provided by the ACCES/Finger Lakes Regional Adult Education Network.

The organization’s website,, features WXXI’s streaming media, broadcast schedules, and resource areas for education, arts, news and events.

WXXI television productions include “Second Opinion,” a nationally distributed health care series; “Homework Hotline,” a statewide live call-in show to help students with homework; and “Need to Know,” a weekly news and public affairs program. WXXI radio productions include: “With Heart and Voice,” a nationally distributed show of sacred music; “Stage Notes,” a nationally distributed show highlighting the music of Broadway; and “Connections with Evan Dawson,” a regionwide daily talk show. WXXI also provides production services to clients, such as uplinks and video and audio production.

WXXI has 121 employees and its headquarters is at 280 State St. Norm Silverstein is president and CEO.

Financial Record    Year ended June 30, 2014
Revenue        %
Community support     $8,680,496    60
Rental, other and investment income    2,142,868    15
Corporation for Public Broadcasting    1,803,026    13
New York State Education Dept.    1,486,502    10
Other government grants and contracts    260,433    2
Total revenue    $14,373,325    100

Expenses        %
Program services    $8,248,260    69
Supporting services    3,604,190    31
Total expenses    $11,852,450    100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses    $2,520,875

Board of Directors
Christopher Booth, chairman
Norm Silverstein,
James Fulmer,
vice-chairman and chairman-elect
Cynthia Reddeck-LiDestri M.D.,
Robert Healy, secretary
Mark Cleary
Michael Cooney
Barbara Kraushaar
Mark Leary
Sherman Levey
Vivian Lewis M.D.
Dawn Lipson
Fabricio Morales
Colleen Natarajan
Karin Pecora
Barbara Pierce
Joy Plotnik
Laura Saxby Lynch
David Still
Lois Taubman
Christopher Thomas
Richard Vuillequez
Kevin Walker
Allen Williams
Betsy Wilson

—Researched by Lisa Granite
If you are interested in having your group featured in the Non-Profit Report, please contact Rochester Business Journal at (585) 546-8303, ext. 116, or email [email protected]

2/6/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected]


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