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

We discuss climate migration. According to the New York Times, one percent of the world today is a barely livable hot zone; by 2070, that percentage could increase to 19 percent. Millions of people around the world have left their homelands to escape extreme weather conditions that have destroyed crops and ways of life. Researchers say that number will only increase due to the effects of climate change. The California wildfires have left many Californians asking if they should move. Last February, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown declared his city a climate refuge. Rochester has become home to thousands of people from Puerto Rico fleeing the damage of Hurricane Maria.

This hour, we discuss climate migration from a number of angles. Our guests:

The CEO of Wells Fargo said this week that the company doesn't hire many Black workers because there isn't a large pool of Black talent. That set off conversations in offices and communities across the country. Where should companies look to find talent? Why is there a disconnect?

Our guests explore it:

  • Adrian Hale, senior manager of talent strategy, workforce development, and education initiatives at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Simeon Banister, vice president of community programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Mohammed Ahamed, CEO and chief diversity officer at Engaging Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)


First hour: Where should companies look to find Black talent?

Second hour: Discussing climate migration

Fires on the west coast turned skies a sickening orange color for days, and eventually all that smoke and haze drifted all the way to Rochester. Our ostensibly sunny days last week were eerily gray. The dark orange in the west scared children and caused health concerns, particularly for people with breathing challenges.

Three of our guests are Rochester natives who now live in California and want listeners to understand just how frightening the sky had become. And we discuss the impact of climate change on our lives. Our guests:

  • Joseph Henderson, Ph.D., lecturer in the Department of Environment & Society at Paul Smith's College of the Adirondacks
  • Alison Konecki, arts professional and avid camper
  • Allie Larkin, author and avid hiker
  • Alex Wegman, writer and full-time mother

Free the People Roc has called for a temporary pause to daily or nightly protests in Rochester. Their goal is to rest and prepare for the next phase of work to enact significant and lasting change. So what is the end goal? Are their demands negotiable? Can they work with the mayor, after calling for Mayor Warren's resignation?

Our guest joins us for her first conversation on Connections since the story of Daniel Prude went public. Ashley Gantt was recently profiled by City Newspaper for her work in organizing, and now she's one of the most visible leaders in Rochester. Our guest:

First hour: Ashley Gantt on what's next for Free the People Roc

Second hour: Discussing the impact of the California wildfires

We’re joined by journalist, author, and former “Good Morning America” co-host Joan Lunden. Lunden is the new host of WXXI’s nationally distributed medical talk show, “Second Opinion,” and she’s in Rochester this week shooting this season’s episodes.

We talk to her about her career in broadcasting, the state of journalism in 2020, her new book on aging, and about what’s on tap for “Second Opinion,” which airs in 2021. Our guest:

  • Joan Lunden, journalist, author, former co-host of “Good Morning America,” and current host of “Second Opinion”

Two young people were killed Saturday morning in one of the worst mass shootings in Rochester’s history. Jaquayla Young and Jarvis Alexander were both 19 years old. The shooting happened when an argument broke out at a gathering that included more than 100 people. Rochester Police say Young and Alexander were innocent victims in the mass shooting. More than 40 rounds were fired and 14 other people were wounded. The shooting happened five years after three people were killed in a mass shooting outside the Boys and Girls Club on Genesee Street.

This hour, our guests address gun violence in Rochester, what they’d like to see change in terms of policy, and what they hope the community will learn from this tragedy. Our guests:


First hour: Addressing the weekend's mass shooting and gun violence in Rochester

Second hour: Journalist and broadcaster Joan Lunden

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's passing on Friday has led to public displays of mourning across the country. As NPR reports, "her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her."

This hour, our guests discuss the consequences of her passing, as well as Ginsburg's life, her legacy on the court, and her contributions to this country as a champion of gender equality. Our guests: