Hélène Biandudi Hofer

Need to Know Host

Hélène Biandudi Hofer is host and producer of WXXI TV's Need to Know, an award-winning, half-hour weekly news and public affairs program. Hélène joined the station in September 2010 as the host of All Things Considered.

Before moving to Rochester, Hélène worked at the CBS Primetime show 48 Hours Mystery in New York City. While at CBS she contributed to several documentary specials for the network including the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the tribute to news icon Walter Cronkite, the inauguration of Barack Obama and the CBS/VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out program.

Hélène is a graduate of New York University’s Broadcast Journalism program. After graduation, she returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an associate producer for WBNS-TV.

Ways to Connect

Flickr: jetsandzeppelins

We’re going Inside the Newsroom. It’s a new series on Need to Know. Throughout the year, a WXXI reporter, producer or host will join us to share the back-story behind their latest projects. Today we’ll hear from WXXI reporter and producer, Michelle Faust. She recently reported on the Environmental Protection Agency updating standards to protect farm workers from exposure to pesticides. However, not everyone saw these changes as being necessary. Faust joins host Hélène Biandudi Hofer to share more.


It’s being called the end of the 'cheap money' era. At some point in the near future, perhaps, the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. When will it happen? Economists say this December is the most likely date. On this edition of Need to Know with Hélène Biandudi Hofer, we examine why this is potentially happening now and how it affects every day individuals and families throughout Rochester.

Point Made Films

From racial protests on college campuses nationwide to incidents closer to home - like the slurs shouted at School 58 soccer players from the Rochester City School District after a major game win in Wayne County this fall - issues of race and racism continue to permeate our culture. And sectors of the Rochester community are continuing the fight for racial equity in our region. Facing Race, Embracing Equity, a local initiative focused on that effort is now implementing a new project geared towards teens and college students. On this edition of Need to Know with Hélène Biandudi Hofer, we learn about a documentary film the group is using called I’m not racist...am I? to mobilize the next generation to confront racism head-on.

Point Made Films

The work in addressing systemic racism in Rochester continues. But now, the next generation is becoming the focus of this effort. On this edition of Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer, we’ll learn about the new platform helping teens and college students take on issues that are more than skin deep.

Also on the show, it seems at any moment the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. We’ll break-down what this means for every day residents and families throughout our region.

And we’re back with our series Inside the Newsroom. We’ll talk with WXXI’s Michelle Faust and get the inside scoop on her latest project.

Watch Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer Thursdays at 8pm on WXXI-TV, Channel 21.1 and Cable 11 or 1221.

BHealth | National Association For Continence

According to some reports, adult diaper sales are now outpacing the sale of baby diapers. Let’s face it. Bladder health is a topic that’s difficult and embarrassing for many people to talk about. But not discussing it, in particular conditions like overactive bladder, and associated symptoms, can affect one’s overall health resulting in self-esteem issues and isolation. It can also mean dealing with a lifetime of bladder problems that could be remedied if shared with a doctor.

It’s focused on reducing the number of illegal firearms on our streets. It was introduced by local leaders and law enforcement earlier this fall after a summer plagued by gun violence in our city. And this week marks its launch in Rochester - gun court. Here’s how it works. Specific cases involving illegal guns are now being overseen by one judge, State Supreme Court Justice, Thomas Moran. The idea is that with one judge presiding over these cases the entire process will be more effective and consistent. So how will we know if and when it’s working? Joining this Need to Know segment is Rochester Police Chief Michael Ciminelli and Jill Paperno, First Assistant Public Defender for the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office.

Nicholas DiBella

It’s that time of year again. The High Falls Film Festival, celebrating independent cinema by or about women, is back. November 12th  marks the launch of the annual event bringing local and international filmmakers together in Rochester. The festival also offers the public an opportunity to see dozens of films for five days (ending November 16th). Joining this Need to Know segment is local filmmaker Nick Dibella, an award-winning writer and director whose film “Wildflower,” shot on location throughout Monroe County, will have its world premiere at the festival.


A new gun court system begins this week in Rochester. On this edition of Need to Know, we’ll learn how it works and the message behind this new system tracking illegal firearms on the streets of Rochester.

Also on the show, attacking misconceptions associated with bladder conditions. Why not talking to your doctor about the issue can cause depression, problems on the job and much more.

And if you’re looking for a little escape this weekend, or, a jolt of reality - we might have the ticket.