WXXI launches a new public radio station in Ithaca

Public radio in the Finger Lakes region became significantly stronger this week as WITH-FM went on the air in Ithaca. In a partnership with WEOS-FM and Hobart & William Smith Colleges (HWS), we launched WITH-FM, a brand new station serving the Ithaca area.  The new station will complement other public radio services in the region.  For example, WITH-FM will broadcast the radio news program The Takeaway.  It will also be the place for a wide variety of eclectic music choices, ranging from NPR’s World Café and Mountain Stage to popular locally-hosted programs already heard on WRUR-FM (Open Tunings and Mystery Train, to name a few).  We worked with our colleagues at Binghamton’s public radio station (they also serve the Ithaca area) to select news and music programs that will expand the choices available to listeners in the region and strengthen public media.  Also, our goal is to add local voices and local music (concerts, bands, etc.) as we build toward the future. To get a better flavor of the station, you can stream WITH by visiting and see what else is being offered. The launch of WITH supports WXXI and HWS’s pledge to build a solid public radio foundation in the Finger Lakes area while strengthening the reach and diversity of public radio in the region.  If you find yourself in the Ithaca area this summer taking advantage of beautiful Cayuga Lake or exploring the amazing Gorges, be sure to tune your radio to 90.1 FM and discover new music and news on WITH.

 And speaking of discovery, I’d like to remind you of the premiere of WXXI’s much-anticipated production, Restoring a Masterpiece: The Renovation of the Eastman Theatre, on Tuesday, June 1st at 8:00 p.m. Though nearly 800 guests were treated to a special screening of the program at the Eastman Theatre this past April, this will mark the first time the program will be seen by a television audience. Narrated by Rochester’s own Philip Seymour Hoffman, the program captures the fascinating story of the Eastman Theatre and demonstrates how a building can have a new life in the restoration of an historic downtown.  With our partners at the Eastman School of Music (and with the help of our production funders, The Pike Company, PAETEC, Louise Epstein, and Keith & Betsy Wilson), we present a rare, behind-the-scenes look at one of Rochester’s treasures . We are also excited about distributing the program to a national audience later this year. Like many of our other local productions (Second Opinion and The Rochester International Jazz Festival) we embrace the opportunity to showcase Rochester as a leader in innovation and possessing one of the most vibrant arts communities in the nation. You can find out more about the program – and watch a trailer for the film – on the program’s Web site and I hope you make it a point to watch when it airs June 1st!

Both these efforts would not be possible without our member support. If you were one of 1,600 callers who made a radio pledge during our May campaign, thank you! If you are looking to renew your membership, or perhaps become a member for the first time, you can make your membership gift while you are here online. And if you have any comments you would like to share, please feel free to leave a message at the bottom of this page.  I look forward to hearing from you!