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

WXXI News | Michelle Faust

Tooth decay is the number one most common chronic childhood disease. It can lead to bacterial infections, malnourishment, and a number of other dangerous outcomes. For families living in rural areas that don’t have access to reliable transportation it can be extremely difficult to see a dentist on a regular basis. And that makes treating pediatric dental disease an even bigger challenge. Need to Know’s Michelle Faust shows us a high tech solution helping children who live far away from a dentist. (Video after the jump.)

Save Our Youth

Some parts of Rochester’s northeast side are viewed as the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. They’re plagued with low income and high rates of unemployment and violent crime. But they’re also home to families, local businesses, a number of churches and a rich, deep history. It’s a part of Rochester that people are working to turn around. Need to Know’s Sasha-Ann Simons has more on one of the city’s latest anti-violence efforts on the northeast side with a bit of a twist.


From a career in broadcasting to two decades in politics, Maggie Brooks’ career tenure hasn’t allowed her to shy away from the public eye or to live what some would call “the simple life.” She was elected to the County Legislature in 1995. And she made history when she was elected the first woman to lead Monroe County back in 2004 becoming the fifth County Executive. Brooks was re-elected for two more terms - making this one her last.

She prides herself on being fiscally responsible and listening to taxpayer needs. And Brooks has no intention of backing down on either of those two things as she maintains a busy schedule until her last day on December 31st. What does Brooks view as the greatest lessons learned as County Executive? What are some of the most prominent efforts on her agenda for the next several months? And what are her plans in 2016? We take on those questions and more on this edition of Need to Know.

WXXI News | Need to Know

While she’s currently wrapping up her last term, Maggie Brooks says she’s not slowing down. The County Executive joins an all new Need to Know to talk priorities, lessons from the past, achievement and of course, what’s next.

Also on the show, a local anti-violence program, modeled after a Chicago-based effort, is taking a public health approach in its work to address violent crime among area youth. We’ll find out if it’s working.

And an inside look at the world of teledentistry and how it has the capacity to change the dynamics of dental care delivery – in particular for low-income patients in the Rochester region.

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

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

It’s what some in the Rochester area call the festival of the year. It’s also been dubbed one of the top festivals of its genre in the country. It’s the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. On this special edition of Need to Know we’re talking all things jazz and examining the impact of jazz culture on our community.

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 does modern-day segregation look like and where does it even exist in our society today? Turns out, you don’t have to look that far to see for yourself. Walk into almost any suburban or city school classroom in Monroe County and you’ll find it. On this special edition of Need to Know, we examine a local program, you’ve likely heard much about lately, as it re-evaluates its mission to end racial segregation in school classrooms, looks to expand, and celebrates 50 years. An inside look at Urban-Suburban on this special edition of Need to Know.


It’s amazing how many drivers out there can tell stories of instances where they were completely blindsided by a nearby motorbike. And the statistics back up the anecdotes.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for 14 per cent of the total highway fatalities in the country, despite motorcycle registrations representing only three per cent of all vehicles in the United States in 2013.