Bill Pearce, the longest-serving president of WXXI, has died at the age of 95.

His son Ryder said that his father passed away Saturday night at The Friendly Home in Rochester. Ryder Pearce said his father passed away peacefully and some family members were able to be there with him in his final days.

Tianna Manon/WXXI News

The Little Theatre in downtown Rochester kicked off a major fundraising campaign Thursday evening. The goal for the six-month long “Little Big Picture Campaign” is one million dollars to match the money given to the venue this year from the state’s Regional Economic Development Council.

Writers & Books, the local literary organization, has honored individuals and an organization in the 2017 Big Pencil Awards.

The annual award ceremony, celebrates people and organizations that support, foster and create literature in the Rochester community.

The awards were handed out on Friday night.

They include former longtime WXXI talk show host Bob Smith, who was honored posthumously as “an individual who has had an impact to the Rochester literary community.”

Fifty years ago, WXXI-TV was launched with its first broadcast, Julia Child's The French Chef. WXXI’s “Founding Father,” Harold Hacker, introduced the program after telling viewers they were about to witness something Rochester had never seen or heard before – educational broadcasting on Channel 21. He gave his word that WXXI would always provide a choice.

Hacker's word still holds true today as WXXI continues to bring you quality programming that is inspiring, engaging, and entertaining. Our guests talk about the early days of WXXI-TV, and of Rochester broadcasting five decades ago.

  • Nancy Brush, founding member of WXXI, former member of the WXXI Board of Directors, and former director of community development for WXXI
  • Justin Vigdor, founding member of WXXI
  • John Andres, weekend host for WXXI Classical 91.5
  • Don Alhart, anchor and associate news director for 13WHAM (joining later in the hour)

Tuesday is a special day for WXXI-TV.  The station is marking its 50th anniversary on the air, as the educational public media resource for the greater Rochester area.

It was on September 6th, 1966 that WXXI-TV 21 launched its first broadcast, Julia Child’s The French Chef…and the organization has certainly grown in scope and the programming it provides to the community.

Need To Know Rochester: A Chat With Beth Adams

Nov 16, 2012

Julie Philipp chats with Beth Adams, who will be the new host of Morning Edition on Monday, November 26. Alex Chrichton will be the new host of All Things Considered the same day.

Cuomo: Expect "Long Term" Recovery After Sandy

Oct 30, 2012

Governor Cuomo, who says he spent a “frightening” night monitoring storm devastation in lower Manhattan,  held a briefing addressing short term repair efforts and long term weather concerns.

Governor Cuomo spent Monday night traveling lower Manhattan, including the ground zero construction site where water was pouring in at one point. He says he saw many harrowing sights, including the Hudson River streaming into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel at the tip of Manhattan, and the Hudson and East Rivers rising up and converging in downtown New York.

Beth Adams Joins WXXI News

Oct 23, 2012

Veteran radio journalist Beth Adams will be joining WXXI News in late November, a move designed to strengthen WXXI's award-winning news coverage.  Adams will become the new local host of NPR's Morning Edition starting November 26.

WXXI President & CEO Norm Silverstein commented on the hiring of Adams:

“We’re proud to welcome Beth Adams as the newest member of the WXXI family. She will be a great addition to our news department, which already boasts a dedicated group of journalists focused on in-depth reporting on issues that concern our community and state.”

WXXI and Little Theatre Announce Merger

Dec 19, 2011

WXXI Public Broadcasting and the Little Theatre have announced a merger of the two organizations. The merger agreement was approved by both organizations' boards within the past month.

Each organization will retain its own name and raise funds separately, but many administrative functions will be combined according to WXXI President Norm Silverstein. The boards of WXXI and the Little will also merge.

For more details you can listen to LeShea Agnew's interview with Silverstein from Monday's Morning Edition on WXXI-AM 1370. Just click on the audio player above.