WXXI AM News

Hélène Biandudi Hofer

Need to Know Host

Hélène Biandudi Hofer is host and producer of WXXI TV's Need to Know, an award-winning, half-hour weekly news and public affairs program. Hélène joined the station in September 2010 as the host of All Things Considered.

Before moving to Rochester, Hélène worked at the CBS Primetime show 48 Hours Mystery in New York City. While at CBS she contributed to several documentary specials for the network including the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the tribute to news icon Walter Cronkite, the inauguration of Barack Obama and the CBS/VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out program.

Hélène is a graduate of New York University’s Broadcast Journalism program. After graduation, she returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an associate producer for WBNS-TV.

Ways to Connect

Renowned and award-winning puppeteers from around the world will be coming to New York from June 14 - June 24 for the inaugural New York State Puppet Festival. It’s all happening in a small, rural town, with a mighty passion for art and a deep desire to expand your perspective of a childhood pastime.

Suicide rates are rising across the U.S. and they are a leading cause of death in our country according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, what’s important to understand is that suicide can be prevented. At a time when many are still reeling from the recent deaths of designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, we examine what can be done to prevent future risk.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or know someone who is, please call the national suicide prevention hotline. That number is: 1-800-273-8255.

On this episode of Need to Know, experts examine how the devastating outcome of suicide has become a public health tragedy. They also discuss the varied prevention efforts that can help save lives.

“Two people fell in love and we all showed up.” That was one of the many lines treasured by people all around the globe from Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The first African American Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church went viral with his energized message focused on the power of love. You may remember a similar sentiment from an interview with Curry on WXXI-TV’s Need to Know. It was too good not to share again.

The local maker scene in Rochester may be more prominent than some realize. From candles and clothing to bicycles and beer, there is a talented crew pursuing their passions while working to strengthen Rochester’s cultural landscape. Area makers will be featured in an upcoming event called: AfterTaste. It’s an effort born out of Rochester’s born collective. The mission: to connect the community with area creatives focused on moving the city forward.

It’s a story where at one moment you’re crying from laughter and the next from pain and heartache. For Lara Lillibridge, it’s simply her story. The author and writer who lives in Cleveland, was raised in Irondequoit where she experienced an upbringing unlike many other kids in the seventies and eighties. That childhood is detailed in a new memoir by Lillibridge titled "Girlish: Growing Up In A Lesbian Home." Lillibridge recently visited the Need to Know set to share her powerful story  - a memoir one described as “absolutely of its time.”

A rare family upbringing leads an author to pen her memoir. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn how sharing her unconventional childhood in Rochester could help at least one person feel less alone in the world.

Also on the show, we’ll hear about a local effort to shine a light on those breathing new life into the city – Rochester makers.

And before he stole the show at the royal wedding, he stole the hearts of those in the Rochester region. We’ll look back at a message from Bishop Michael Curry during an appearance on Need to Know.

What happens when you can't find the book you really need? You write it! That's what one Rochester-native did, and you'll hear her story this week on Need to Know.

You could say the names Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon have become synonymous with the fight to tackle sexual harassment. The two University of Rochester professors were named among TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” honorees for helping to expose harassment in the world of academia. This story was first reported in the fall when Kidd and Cantlon, among other current and former UR professors and students, filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint against the university. The complainants are now involved in a federal lawsuit against the University of Rochester. Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon recently stopped by the Need to Know set to provide perspective on this journey and the work ahead.

Anti-assault and harassment movements such as “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” have developed a public dialogue focused on women's issues around the world. But those aren’t the only movements making a difference. Rochester area residents don’t need to look far to find those educating and empowering people of their rights and their value. On this edition of Need to Know we meet a group of teens who, while small in number, say they have every intention of significantly influencing their peers on one particular issue.

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