WXXI AM News

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

Harvey Weinstein's fall has reignited conversations about abuse of power, and how men in power tend to be protected in various ways.

We discuss a range of related issues: how employment agreements can impact victims; what recourse victims have; how to change the culture of protection for predators. Our guests:

Can Rochester lure Amazon? What's the best way to improve city schools? Those are just some of the questions facing the next City Council, and we sit down with three more of the candidates:

First hour: Candidates for Rochester City Council, part 7

Second hour: The fall of Harvey Weinstein, and abuse of power in the workplace

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:

  • Access to water in South Sudan, with former Lost Boy, Salva Dut;
  • The value of settlement houses; 
  • How climate change can impact human health and nutrition;
  • How domestic violence impacts victims and families.

The movie It broke box office records for late summer, which means two things: Stephen King remains popular, and clowns remain horrifying. Okay, that second part is probably unfair, but Pennywise the Dancing Clown has cast a frightening figure in the film.

So why are we so afraid of clowns? It didn't start with the book version of It, which dropped in the mid-1980s. In facts, it goes way back in literature. But modern-day clowns want to make the case that we don't have to be afraid. We explore the history of our fears and the reality of this offbeat profession. Our guests:

  • Roscoe the Court Jester
  • Richard Hughson, member of Flower City Vaudeville
  • Sky Sands, comedian
  • Abby DeVuyst, librarian, improviser, and actor

Sometimes we hear generalizations about how city schools stack up to suburban schools. Things like, “the suburbs have more amenities.” Those might include arts, computer labs, performance spaces, athletic equipment, music. Are those generalizations fair, and will the facilities modernization bring the city schools more in line with other local districts? Or are those generalizations off base?

The Facilities Modernization Program is charged with updating and modernizing schools in the Rochester City School District. We find out what that means, and how tens of millions of dollars are being spent. Our guests:

  • Allen Williams, chair of the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board
  • Michael Schmidt, vice chair of the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board
  • Travis Miller, manager of the Business Opportunities Program for Savin Engineers

First hour: RCSD's Facilities Modernization Program

Second hour: The movie It, and perceptions of clowns

The Trump administration has argued that laws covering bias at work do not include or cover LGBTQ issues. This is, to say the least, perceived as a significant threat in the LGBTQ community.

We focus on what the law does and does not do, and we talk about LGBTQ history in Rochester. Guests:

  • Rowan Collins, educator with the Out Alliance
  • Bob Crystal, founder of the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, now known as the Out Alliance
  • Matt Haag, member of Rochester City Council

Buzzfeed's Ben Smith, among other writers, are saying that Big Tech is in trouble. He says Facebook and Google are too big, too powerful, too complacent -- and soon, both consumers and Congress will come for them.

Is he right? Is Facebook primed for a fall? We discuss a future in which Facebook falls, Google shrinks, and everyone posts fewer status updates. Our guests:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose work focuses on the intersection between social media and the law
  • Mike Johansson, lecturer at RIT and social media consultant with Fixitology

First hour: Is Big Tech too big?

Second hour: How Title VII issues impact the LGBTQ community

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