Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Research shows that spanking and other forms of corporal punishment for children do not improve behavior. Instead, the data indicates that physical punishment can lead to aggression, problems at school, mental health issues, and even child abuse by parents. Despite that, surveys show that about 65 percent of Americans approve of spanking.

This hour, we discuss the facts, why some parents believe in spanking, and what the experts recommend as the most appropriate methods for disciplining children. In studio:

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and the CDC says that growing crisis is caused by opioids. Local leaders are joining together to help combat the epidemic.

This hour, we preview the Churches Combating Addiction Conference, which will bring together experts in law enforcement, hospitals, recovery agencies, and churches. Our guests share their insight and answer your questions about the opioid epidemic. 


First hour: Churches Combating Addiction Conference

Second hour: The effects of spanking and corporal punishment on children

Wendell Castle, an icon in the furniture design movement, has died. Castle had deep roots in the Rochester community, and leaves a storied career and legacy.

We discuss it with our guests:

One year after worldwide women's marches, thousands more took to the streets in western New York and across the country.

We discuss the issues central to the movement. We also discuss what it means to be active, beyond marching or protesting. Our guests:

  • Mercedes Mike, education organizer for Metro Justice/Alliance for Quality Education who attended marches in Rochester in 2017 and 2018
  • Stephanie Vargas, activist who attended the 2017 march in Washington, D.C.
  • Miriam Zinter, activist who attended the 2017 march in Washington, D.C.
  • Marta Driscoll, program and outreach manager at Causewave Community Partners who attended the 2017 march in Washington, D.C.

First hour: Discussing the Women's March, one year later 

Second hour: Remembering artist Wendell Castle

The leaders who put together Rochester’s proposal to Amazon say they will not release it to the public. That means taxpayers won’t find out how much public money was offered to the Seattle-based company.

“We do not have plans at this point to make our proposal public,” said Matt Hurlbutt, CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, which coordinated the proposal to Amazon on a local level.

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act;
  • Property tax assessments, with Paychex founder Tom Golisano;
  • "John Henryism" and mental health in the African American community;
  • "Making it" in the music industry, with Kate Lee O'Connor and Forrest O'Connor of the O'Connor Band.

A recent article in (585) Magazine aimed to cover the Rochester comedy landscape. The article was bolstered by many photos, and yet it featured almost entirely men. Why? Women in comedy responded, saying this is rather typical of how women tend to be dismissed in this field.

We discuss women in comedy, and the challenges they can face. In studio:

*You can read the follow-up piece to (585)'s initial article here.

Rochester did not make the cut for Amazon's HQ2. The final 20 cities were revealed on Thursday. It's a disappointment for the team that put together Rochester's proposal, but they point out that all of the finalists were large-market areas.

We discuss their bid, and the plan for economic revitalization now that the Amazon dream has died. Our guests:

  • Bob Duffy, CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Matt Hurlbutt, CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise
  • Alex White, local activist, organizer, and small business founder