Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect


First hour: Fashion Week of Rochester 2018

Second hour: Michael Kracker, executive director of Unshackle Upstate

Canada is about to make recreational marijuana legal. What does that mean for people who go to Canada and come back to the U.S.? What does it mean for workers who come to the U.S. in the medical marijuana industry?

We discuss what you need to know for the next time you cross the border. Our guests:

According to recent polls, less than half of young Americans – 45 percent – view capitalism positively. Researchers at Gallup say that represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in the last two years, and a 23-point decline from 2010. The data shows more adults aged 18 to 29 prefer socialism.

We recently heard from socialists on this program, and now we’re giving capitalists the floor. They join us to share their views on the merits of capitalism and the future of the economy. Our guests:


First hour: Discussing capitalism

Second hour: What does the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada mean for Americans at the border?

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • Desegregating schools, with Carlotta Walls, one of the Little Rock Nine;
  • Why victims choose to report or not to report sexual assaults;
  • Homeless shaming;
  • Battling addiction, with actress Marlee Matlin.

Sex trafficking is considered a public health crisis in our community. We take a look at how various organizations are trying to intervene to help victims. It's a preview of an upcoming conference at St. John Fisher College. Our guests also discuss which populations are most at risk for trafficking.

In studio:

First hour: The state of the sex trafficking crisis in Rochester and Monroe County

Second hour: NPR's live coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh

Carlotta Walls LaNier was 14 years old when she and eight other African American students walked through the doors of the formerly all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The year was 1957 and the move was a test of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education. Walls LaNier graduated from Central High after surviving verbal and physical attacks and a bombing of her home. 

She will be in Rochester next week as a guest of the YWCA for its Empowering Women Luncheon, but first, she joins us on Connections to discuss school desegregation and her place in history. Our guests:

What would the U.S. Constitution look like today if it were created from scratch? An upcoming panel discussion hosted by the Rochester Public Library will explore that question. We'll preview the event with a conversation about how to address modern issues in a new constitution. Our guests:  

  • Tim Kneeland, professor and chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Nazareth College
  • Adam Chodak, anchor and managing editor for WROC-TV
  • Kent Gardner, principal and chief economist for the Center for Governmental Research
  • Jennifer Byrnes, head of the Science and History Division at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County


First hour: What would a new U.S. Constitution look like?

Second hour: Carlotta Walls LaNier on desegregating schools