WXXI AM News

Megan Mack

Connections Executive Producer

Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming. She joined the WXXI News team from WHEC-TV, where she produced newscasts and "The Olympic Zone," and from the University of Rochester, where she served as an assistant director of public relations. Her background extends to television sports and entertainment, and to communications and social media management for non-profits.

Megan earned her B.S. in Television-Radio-Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and her B.A. in Italian Language, Literature, and Culture from the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University. She is also a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory program.

Ways to Connect

Since social distancing orders went into effect, many people throughout the country have turned to take-out dining and grocery delivery services to support restaurants and access the food and supplies they need. For certain groups, these services are necessary to protect their health and safety during the pandemic. Others who are less at risk have asked if their use of services like Instacart unfairly places all the risk on a small group of workers who need the income. They say they want to support people and businesses, but wonder what the moral choice is.

Our guests discuss the issue:

There's a heated debate happening regarding what to cut, and what to keep, in Rochester city schools. We recently spoke to Superintendent Terry Dade; this hour we hear from board members about teacher cuts, emotional support cuts, building usage, and more.

Our guests:

First hour: Rochester City School Board Commissioners discuss the state of the district's budget

Second hour: Discussing the ethics of takeout and delivery services during the pandemic

Local churches are taking precautions to protect congregants during the pandemic. Masses are streamed online, and a number of services are being offered to help people stay connected spiritually, while practicing physical distancing.

This hour, we're joined by local faith leaders to discuss their efforts and how they are providing spiritual care during a time of grief, fear, and unease. Our guests:

Earth Day is coming, and even during the pandemic, there's a lot going on. We talk with guests who are engaged in the following efforts: Developing a "Go All Electric" campaign to promote beneficial electrification; working on a framework to support the formation of citizen action teams in local municipalities; partnering with the City Wide Tenant Union to engage renters in advocating for healthy, efficient, affordable housing; intervening in RG&E's rate case; and convening a formal, climate-focused collective impact initiative for the Finger Lakes region.

Our guests:

First hour: Discussing local climate action efforts

Second hour: How faith leaders are helping people make spiritual connections during the pandemic

A recent column by CITY Newspaper editor David Andreatta has led to discussions throughout the community about the ethics of using the stimulus checks many people are set to receive from the government. Andreatta writes, “For the millions of workers who have lost their jobs, that extra money will hopefully be put to good use paying rent, mortgages, utility bills, and day-to-day living expenses. But what of the millions of taxpayers like my wife and me who still have our jobs and for whom this aid is found money? How should we use our share? What is the right thing to do? What is the ethical thing to do?”

He joins us to discuss those questions. We’re also joined by local philosophy professors. Our guests:

  • David Andreatta, editor of CITY Newspaper
  • Randy Curren, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Rochester
  • Rosa Terlazzo, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Rochester

This week marks 25 years since the film “Tommy Boy” was released. The movie tells the story of a son’s (Chris Farley) efforts to save his father’s auto parts manufacturing plant and the jobs of its workers. While a comedy, people in the manufacturing industry say the 1995 movie was prescient and reflects what’s happening in their field today.

We explore the issues with our guests:

  • Ana Liss, acting director of the Monroe County Department of Planning and Development
  • Matthew Sydor, program manager for Sydor Optics
  • Adam Lubitow, film critic for CITY Newspaper

First hour: Discussing the film "Tommy Boy" and what it said about the manufacturing industry

Second hour: What is the ethical thing to do with your stimulus check?

Fans around the world are pulling for songwriter John Prine, who is stricken with COVID-19. His wife has offered updates, saying that the legendary musician remains on a ventilator and has been in critical condition.

We've asked local songwriters to offer their favorite renditions of John Prine songs, and we've put together a very musical hour to honor Prine and all those suffering during the pandemic. You can hear the full songs here. Our guests:

  • John Dady, performing "Hello In There"
  • Ryan Sutherland, performing "Souvenirs"
  • Maria Gillard, performing "Chain of Sorrow"
  • Scott Austin, performing "Angel from Montgomery"
  • Roxy Elahi, performing "Summer's End"
  • Steve Piper, performing "Fish and Whistle"
  • Fran Broderick, performing "All the Best"
  • Sarah Eide, performing "Angel from Montgomery"

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