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 Ad Council of Rochester | The Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

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

Monroe Community College

It’s been called one of the most complex issues in American higher education - the enrollment, disengagement and low degree completion rates for African American males in college. Some voices in higher ed say part of the problem is a “deficit orientation” reinforced by the media and academic journals. Rather than solely focusing on the problem and the challenges, they say we must engage and learn from those who have successfully navigated through the college system. Monroe Community College is attempting to do just that in its upcoming symposium on May 7th called Black Male Achievement in Higher Education.

The Times Weekly

Stories about challenges facing African American males, in particular in education, have long permeated the media. On this edition of Need to Know, we shift the conversation and focus on promising practices that could result in positive changes in higher education for this demographic.

Also on the show, our Affordable Care Act series continues as we discuss how to juggle complicated health insurance choices.

And the Renaissance man, the inventor, the artist, the philosopher. The works of Leonardo da Vinci unveiled in an exhibit now in Rochester.

RnB Classics Live

What do Elvis, The Beatles, Coldplay, Adele and Justin Bieber all have in common? They all have Tribute Bands. These bands are popular around the globe and as their name suggests, they pay tribute to a particular band or artist by exclusively performing that singer or band’s music. Some even go a step further by copying the band’s look and style. On this segment of Need to Know, we’ll meet a local music manager taking the Tribute Band concept in a different direction so it’s less about the dramatics and more about the heart and soul of the music.

Writers & Books Teen Poetry Slam

Bullying, politics, poverty, racial and gender injustices and love. These are just a handful of the topics that serve as inspiration for area teens writing and performing their own original poetry. A number of high school students throughout Rochester are part of a special Writers & Books teen poetry slam. On this segment of Need to Know, we’ll explore how teens are being taught how to use language as a weapon for change.

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

Urban League of Rochester

A voice for the voiceless. That’s how some describe the Urban League of Rochester. The local arm of the nationally renowned organization launched at a time of racial and economic unrest in Rochester. It’s been serving the underserved in our community for the past 50 years. Its focus is helping African Americans, Latinos and the disadvantaged become economically self-sufficient through jobs, education, home-ownership and entrepreneurship. In this segment of Need to Know, viewers will learn more about the organization’s wide reach and plans for the future.


Fighting for civil rights for Rochester residents for 50 years. On this edition of Need to Know, we’ll look at the impact of an organization working to equip and empower African Americans, Latinos and the disadvantaged, and how it views the long road ahead.

Also on the show, Rochester teenagers baring their souls and sharing their innermost thoughts through original writing and performing. How poetry slams are engaging teens and breaking stereotypes.

Conifer Realty

It’s been said that where art flourishes, so does economic development. The City of Rochester has plans to make this a reality in some of the downtown neighborhoods surrounding East Main Street. And one of the many starting points is a new residential complex for local artists.

Dr. Ron Friedman

Imagine your employer offers you a month-long paid vacation. But here’s the best part – if you travel to a country you’ve never visited before, your employer will cover most of your travel expenses, plus the expenses of your lucky travel companion. That’s what health tech company Epic Systems offers its 5-year employees. Then there’s Starbucks. Recently the coffee chain announced an expansion to its college tuition program. Now it will cover a full four years of college tuition for employees to the online Arizona State University.