AM 1370, Keeping Listeners Informed and Engaged for 30 Years

AM 1370, Keeping Listeners Informed and Engaged for 30 Years

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 6:00am - 11:00pm

On July 2, 1984, WXXI-AM 1370 signed on as Rochester’s NPR news station. Three decades later it’s still providing in-depth coverage of news from around the world and here at home. 

WXXI celebrates this 30-year anniversary with a special Connections with Evan Dawson Wednesday, July 2 at 1p.m. on AM 1370. Evan will be joined by WXXI President Norm Silverstein, Media Scholar in Residence at St. John Fisher College Tom Proietti, and NorthEast Radio Watch Editor/Publisher Scott Fybush to talk about the station’s rich history and promising future. 

Throughout the day there will also be celebratory messages on AM 1370, as well as anniversary wishes online at and, and social media. WXXI invites listeners to share their thoughts and memories via Facebook and Twitter, as well.

In 1974 WXXI was operating one radio station that offered some talk radio and news, plus an eclectic blend of folk, jazz, and classical music. That station was WXXI-FM 91.5. In early 1980 WXXI saw the need for a separate news and talk radio service in Rochester and began its search for a new station with that goal in mind.  In 1984 it found the perfect fit when WSAY/WRTK radio was put on the market. WXXI bought the station and on July 2, 1984, WXXI-AM 1370 hit the airwaves. That day the station kicked off its own two-hour mid-day talk show 1370 Connection. The show was hosted by veteran broadcaster Bob Smith for more than two decades before Smith retired in 2013. AM 1370 continues to produce this daily show under a new name – Connections with Evan Dawson. The program also simulcasts on WEOS-FM 89.5 in Geneva.

In 1990 the station was instrumental in establishing a statewide Capitol News Bureau with Karen DeWitt as its Bureau Chief, covering state government and politics for a network of 10 New York State public radio stations. Over the years AM 1370 has produced a variety of radio shows including SoundBytes, Innerview, Perspectives with Curt Smith, and What the Tech.

In the last 15 years, WXXI has prioritized its public affairs coverage, offering unique and community-based initiatives like Voice of the Voter, to ensure that citizens are a vital part of election coverage. WXXI produces Candidate Free Air Time for political candidates to share their campaign views with the public, and has produced special reports on the state of local education, race issues, refugees’ issues, health, child obesity and the arts. WXXI has become the preferred community partner for covering issues related to underserved communities, such as those with disabilities.

In 2010 WXXI was selected by the Corporation of Public Broadcasting to lead a major journalism initiative in the Upstate New York region. Known as the Innovation Trail, a team of reporters from several New York State public radio stations provide in-depth reports on the innovative technologies, businesses, and policies that are helping rebuild the region’s economy.

WXXI's news team has garnered countless awards over the last three decades from New York State Broadcasters Association, New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association, and the Public Radio News Directors’ Association. Over the years WXXI's studios have welcomed distinguished guests from the world of politics, arts, science, and medicine. From election debates to national news to local in-depth stories, the community has -- for 30 years -- trusted WXXI to provide a balanced perspective of their world.

Along with AM 1370, WXXI now operates five additional radio stations Classical 91.5, WRUR-FM 88.5, WXXY-FM 90.3 (Houghton), WEOS-FM 89.5 (Geneva) and WITH-FM 90.1 (Ithaca).  All these stations can be streamed online at, while selected programs are available as podcasts at  iPhone and Android users can also listen on their devices using WXXI’s free app. AM 1370, WRUR-FM 88.5 and WEOS-FM 98.5 are available on iTunes Radio, as well.