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

A discussion on New York’s vote to join the movement to abolish the electoral college in favor of popular vote to determine presidential elections. Jeff Koch, a professor from SUNY Geneseo, was our guest.

WXXI’s Capitol Correspondent Karen Dewitt also joined us from Albany  for an update on the state budget talks.

In the second half-hour, we  talked about  a new campaign to help adults recognize when children have been sexually abused. The guests include Mary Whitter of the Bivona Child Advocacy Center, and  Todd Butler with the Ad Council  

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly will not have cancer surgery after all; his cancer has spread too far. He’ll undergo radiation and chemo instead. Dr. Matt Miller from URMC joined us to speak generally about the types of treatment, likely outcomes, etc.

Journalist Scott Pitoniak was also here. He’s covered Jim Kelly extensively. Pitoniak and Miller talked about  Jim Kelly the first half hour; then we transitioned to talk about the future of Syracuse and Jim Boeheim after their early NCAA tournament exit.   


Science and sports are the topics on this edition of Connections. In the first part of the show, shark researcher Gregory Skomal joins us. His presentation at the Rochester Museum and Science Center is part of their "Science on the Edge" series. He was supposed to be here a month ago, but weather canceled his appearance.

Later on, with the death of Ralph Wilson, what's the future of the Bills staying in Western New York? Journalist and author Scott Pitoniak joins us to talk about the future of the Bills, and the legacy of Ralph Wilson. 

It's America's favorite addiction: caffeine, and coffee. We chat with Murray Carpenter, author of the new book Caffeinated. He traveled the world in search of caffeine sources to find out exactly how much caffeine is in our coffee, our chocolate, and why it's so lightly regulated (This is not an attack on coffee -- he remains an addict!).

Later on, we broaden the conversation with two studio guests: Kathy Turiano from Joe Bean Coffee Roasters and Sarah Guilbert, registered dietician for UR Medicine.

An interview  with former Dreamgirls star Sheryl Lee Ralph, who will be headlining in Rochester, along with Melany Silas, MCC professor, talking about a diversity and empowerment event she organized.

The guest is Daniel Wildcat. He talks about the American Indian approach to climate change. He’ll be teaching classes at Hobart and William Smith Colleges this week, and giving a public lecture Thursday night.  

There are many of us that either are, or knew a person, dealing with PTSD. On this Connections we talk with Dr. Kathy Platoni, a longtime colonel who worked with the U.S. Army Reserve on the effects of war, or PTSD. She’s speaking at Hobart and William Smith about PTSD in modern warfare.

Later on, how can you be a friend to a friend who's sick? Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author of the popular book How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick is coming to the JCC, joins us on the phone and Lori Harter of the JCC joins us in studio.

RGRTA is finally getting their large new downtown terminal. How much is the final pricetag? Who’s paying for it? And is Rochester ready for a subsidized bikesharing program?

We discuss this in studio with RGRTA CEO Bill Carpenter, RGRTA COO Daniele Coll-Gonzalez, and Rich Perrin of the Genesee Transportation Council (GTC).

A discussion about the NY DREAM Act that the State Senate defeated earlier this week. In studio to discuss are Dr. John Ghertner, Carly Fox and Amairani Pena.

Photographer Trent Bell has created a stunning project called Reflect. It began when a friend of his was convicted of a violent crime and went to prison. Trent decided to shoot portrait photographs of longtime inmates who had committed violent crimes. He asked them to write letters to their younger selves, then he superimposed the portrait picture on top of the letters. Trent joins us to share their stories, their letters, and their lessons. We’ll also talk to Dale Davis, the Executive Director of the NY State Literary Center, who has created projects locally with young people who are incarcerated.