James Brown


Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.

James cut his teeth in journalism as an associate producer and weekend assignment editor at WHEC-TV.

A Rochester native and an East High School graduate, James earned a Bachelor of Communications degree from Niagara University where he won awards for his poetry and resurrected the school’s radio station.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Hundreds of cars packed parking lots at the former Medley Centre on Tuesday for the latest pandemic food distribution. 

Vehicles were backed up on East Ridge Road from North Goodman Street all the way down to Culver Road and down Culver to Route 104, which was packed as well. 

People came as far as Williamson, Wayne County, to get their share of 4,000 free gallons of milk and 43,000 pounds of free food. 

More than 100 concerned community members, consumers and former employees of the Center for Disability Rights and the Regional Center for Independent Living are speaking out about alleged mismanagement, malfeasance and xenophobic remarks made by the organization’s founder, president and CEO, Bruce Darling.

They wrote and signed an open letter calling Darling’s leadership “calamitous.” It said there’s a “lack of accountability,” “nonexistent governance,” and alleges malfeasance and "unethical conduct.” 

City of Rochester

Longtime Rochesterians may recall an area of the city known as Bull’s Head, it’s where six streets including West Main Street and Chili Avenue meet near the old St. Mary Hospital on the city’s west side.

Dana Miller, Rochester’s Deputy Commissioner, Neighborhood and Business Development said the city has been slowly acquiring nearly every property around Bull’s Head. He said they spent about $10 million over a decade for about 12 acres of land.

It was raining as hundreds of people poured off of the Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge Sunday. 

This Black Lives Matter protest was organized by a group called Save Rochester which led protesters onto I-490 near Corn Hill before they were turned away by state police. More than 300 people participated. 

Max Schulte / WXXI News

A statue of Frederick Douglass thrown into the Genesee River gorge on July 5 was replaced Thursday.

The incident happened on the anniversary of Douglass’ most famous speech: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? That statue could not be salvaged. Rochester Police say they have not arrested anyone in connection with the crime.

James Brown / WXXI News

Contact tracing jobs aren’t new, in fact, Monroe County Health Commissioner Mike Mendoza said the idea has been around for a long time. It's become more important during the coronavirus pandemic, because contact tracers track down people who were exposed to COVID-19 and find out where they’ve been. 

In a news conference Wednesday, Mendoza called it “a mix of art and science” that he said the region is going to need a lot more of.

James Brown / WXXI News

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello has created the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is dedicated to creating more equity in Monroe County. 

The new department will be led by a chief diversity officer and will create at least four new positions. The new positions will review county contracts, policies, and strategies with a goal, Bello said, of combating all forms of bias. 

James Brown / WXXI News

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that there’s bipartisan support for a new federal stimulus plan that includes relief for schools and colleges. 

On the campus of the Victor Central School District, Schumer announced some details of the proposal. 

If passed, Schumer said $175 billion would be given to all public and private kindergarten through 12th grade schools. He said a similar formula would be used for colleges and universities across the country, which would receive more than $130 billion.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Family, friends and constituents lined up to pay respect to one of the state’s longest-serving officials, Assemblyman David Gantt. 

Outside the Church of Love and Faith Center on Exchange Street on Friday, Thomas Gantt took a few minutes to remember his brother and their mother, Lena, who was active in antipoverty efforts in Rochester for decades through organizations like Action for a Better Community. Thomas Gantt said his brother picked up where Lena left off. 

James Brown / WXXI News

Rev. Lewis Stewart and the United Christian Leadership Ministry were joined by more than a dozen community leaders for a solutions-focused discussion on police reform and community relations Thursday night. Roughly 50 people were on hand for the discussion at First Church of God on Clarissa Street.

The forum included members of law enforcement such as Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, activists from Rochester’s local Black Lives Matter movement, Rochester City Council and others.