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

The new school year kicks off next week for Rochester City Schools on September 2nd. But will students show up to class? On this edition of Need to Know, we’ll learn what the district is doing in an effort to re-frame mindsets about attendance. Are the new initiatives working and will they benefit all students?

Dick Waterman

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

How does Rochester move forward after the deadly drive-by shooting that took the lives of three young men on Wednesday evening? What can be done to help prevent more deaths like this in the City? We asked city leaders to  focus on these points and more during this special edition of Need To Know .


There’s a sector of America’s vast music world that appears to be under the radar. But a music festival that has found a home in Rochester is keeping the work of some groundbreaking and legendary composers and musicians alive. For more than 20 years the Gateways Music Festival has shared the music  and contributions of classical musicians of African descent. Nearly 100 classically-trained musicians from around the country gather in Rochester to perform at various venues throughout the city.

Associated Press

On this edition of Need to Know we discuss headline topics with voices that we don’t hear enough in the news - the youth. Teenagers in the city of Rochester share their thoughts and perspectives about the issues of our time.

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

Associated Press

What do teens in Rochester really think about some of the issues in our community and our country? Youth police relations, the “Black Lives Matter” movement, school discipline issues, unemployment, the presidential election and more. An engaging conversation with Rochester teens on this edition of Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer.

Also on the show, some of their compositions were never published, their symphonic pieces never recorded, but their legacies are being preserved through the upcoming Gateways Music Festival in Rochester. Revealing the stories and work of black female classical music composers.

Hélène Biandudi Hofer | WXXI News

Breaking what’s referred to as the “school-to-prison pipeline” by creating social entrepreneurs. That’s one of the goals of a new summer program in Rochester launched by kids for kids. According to the New York Civil Liberties Union this pipeline is the result of local, state and federal policies that push young people out of school and into the criminal justice system. In particular, kids of color and children with disabilities. So, two young men in Rochester are working with their peers in kindergarten through 4th grade to help break this cycle. How are they doing it? By teaching them the power of literacy and giving back to the community.

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

Veronica Volk | WXXI News

For blind and visually impaired lovers of baseball – playing the game was an impossibility more than 50 years ago. But in 1964 that changed. A baseball was invented that made a beeping sound. And with it a new sport was eventually born. Beep Baseball is an adaptation of classic American baseball, played with a pitcher, catcher, batters, and fielders.