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


First hour: Did the film Broadcast News predict the future of the news industry?

Second hour: Dialogue on Disability - A look at autism research and care in 2018

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 debate over police officers' body-worn cameras;
  • How to improve access to healthy food in all communities;
  • Finding a balance between all modes of transportation.

Whatever happened to Obama-era pop music? According to the New Yorker, it's already dated, even embarrassing. Matthew Trammell argues that music reflects the cultural and political mood, and already pop music has moved on from the buoyant, fizzy hits like Katy Perry's "Firework." Is that fair?

Our guests discuss the ways music does, and does not, capture the current mood. In studio:

It's Buffalo Bills mania in Western New York. The Bills are back in the NFL playoffs for the first time in 17 years. But as fans celebrate, something ominous is happening for the league. Ratings are down. More parents are refusing to allow their kids to play football.

We have some fun toasting the Bills, but we ask some serious questions, starting with this: if you won't allow your children to get on the field, should you be supporting the NFL at all? And what is causing the ratings decline? Our guests:

First hour: Bills mania and the business of football

Second hour: How music reflects the political mood

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about food deserts, and now so-called food swamps, and what's really going on with food access in America's cities. That's been a strong focus of Foodlink, whose chief program officer was just sworn in as one of Rochester's new members of City Council.

We discuss how to make good food available for more people -- what works, what doesn't, from corner stores to SNAP to the farm bill. Our guests:

  • Mitch Gruber, chief program officer for Foodlink and member of Rochester City Council
  • Julia Tedesco, executive director for Foodlink

*Note: You can read the Atlantic Monthly article mentioned during the show here.

Administrators at some large, private colleges and universities are speaking out against the tax plan recently passed by Congress. The plan would tax large endowments at some institutions, and administrators say that will hinder their ability to provide financial aid to students and cut back on faculty salaries and research. Supporters of the plan say the tax will push universities to invest more in education instead of stashing funds in large endowments.

The issue has sparked discussion about the value of endowments and what they cover. This hour, our guests help us understand what endowments are, who they benefit, and we break down how the tax plan will impact them. Our guests:

  • Daan Braveman, president of Nazareth College
  • Patrick Richey, vice president of finance for Nazareth College


First hour: Understanding university and college endowments

Second hour: What's going on with food access in American cities?

In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a proposed series of reforms to help relieve loan debt for college and university students in New York State. Student loan debt accounts for 10 percent of debt balance in the U.S., making it the second highest category of loan debt after mortgage debt. In New York, the average student loan debt total is more than $30,000.

This hour, we discuss the governor’s proposed reforms and their potential impact on students. We also discuss the importance of financial literacy with our guests. In studio:

  • Chuck Wade, vice president and financial adviser, Brighton Securities
  • Bianca Bishop, health care integrator at Hillside Family of Agencies
  • Shadi Kafi, attorney, former teacher and administrator, and aspiring author


First hour: Exploring Governor Cuomo's proposed plan to relieve student loan debt

Second hour: 2018 State of the State address