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

In 1979, the body of a teenage girl was found in a cornfield in Caledonia. For 35 years, her identity and her killer were a mystery. Half the mystery was solved in January 2015, when the girl was identified as Tammy Jo Alexander. The other half remains unsolved.

Finding Tammy Jo is a new podcast produced by WXXI News and the Democrat and Chronicle. Co-hosts Veronica Volk and Gary Craig spent a year investigating the case and weaving together the threads of evidence and memories that have emerged. They join us on Connections to share their insight into Tammy Jo's story. We listen to Episode 1 of the podcast, which launched on Sunday, and we provide a behind-the-scenes look into the making of Finding Tammy Jo. Our guests:

First hour: A behind-the-scenes look at the new podcast, Finding Tammy Jo

Second hour: Monthly Science Roundtable examines electric vehicles

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 Flint water crisis with investigative journalist Curt Guyette;
  • The presidential race and paid family leave with billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Golisano; 
  • The debate over shipping garbage from New York City to a landfill in the Finger Lakes;
  • Zombie properties in Rochester;
  • The Rochester Cocktail Revival.

The College of Collectible Knowledge returns!

Our antique appraisers answer listeners' questions throughout the hour, just as they did for years on 1370 Connection. It's a preview of sorts of the 4th annual WXXI Antique Appraisal Fair, coming up Saturday, May 7. Our guests:

When Mayor Lovely Warren joined Connections earlier this month, she defended Assemblyman David Gantt's decision to abandon one of his rental properties in the City of Rochester, effectively turning it into a zombie property.

A group called Take Back the Land was disappointed to hear that; they point out that the vast majority of zombie properties nationwide are left behind by rental property owners who give up.

So how can the city toughen up or deal with the issue? Beyond that, the group fights evictions, calling for housing as a human right. We talk to them about all of these issues. Our guests, all from Take Back the Land:

  • Ryan Acuff
  • Julie Gelfand
  • Elizabeth McGriff
  • Barbara Horton

First hour: Zombie properties and housing as a right

Second hour: College of Collectible Knowledge returns

A new list of seven up-and-coming American cocktail cities is out and Rochester... isn't on it. But maybe we should be. The 2016 Rochester Cocktail Revival is on the way, and our city marks the only such celebration in New York State this year. We talk about the craft, the trends, the economics, and what to expect at the 2016 event with our guests:

The Monroe County Democratic Committee is being investigated for a series of large donations that found their way to then-State Senator Ted O'Brien's re-election campaign in 2014. Who sent that $225,000, and did the committee break any rules or laws?

Our guests look at money in politics, and what this affair tells us. Our guests:

  • Dave Andreatta, columnist with the Democrat & Chronicle
  • Dave McLaughlin, money in politics activist

First hour: Following the money in politics

Second hour: Previewing the 2016 Rochester Cocktail Revival

The Rochester City School District is preparing to host Fania Davis, who has become a leading national voice regarding restorative practices. Davis frequently addresses the school-to-prison pipeline. She advocates for reconciliation processes. 

We talk to Davis about why she prefers this approach over stricter discipline. Our guests: