For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


Rochester, New York (September 6, 2006) – Forty years ago today, WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) launched its first broadcast, Julia Child’s The French Chef. WXXI’s “Founding Father” Harold Hacker introduced the program after telling viewers they were about to witness something Rochester had never seen or heard before – educational broadcasting on Channel 21. He gave his word that WXXI would always provide a choice.

Forty years later, Mr. Hacker’s promise still holds true – particularly his vow of providing a choice. Starting with that one Julia Child program, WXXI now serves the Rochester community with over 35,000 hours of television and 40,000 hours of radio each week. The station hosts not only Channel 21 but three additional digital television channels (WXXI-HD, WXXI-Create and WXXI-Q). WXXI also broadcasts four radio stations (AM 1370, Classical 91.5 FM, WJSL 90.3 FM and WRUR 88.5 FM) as well as Reachout Radio, a 24-hour radio reading service for those who are visually impaired. Beyond the media, WXXI’s Educational Outreach Center offers workshops for parents, caregivers and educators to improve readiness for school. WXXI also serves as the Mid-West Regional Adult Education Network (RAEN) for New York State Education Department (NYSED), which provides professional development opportunities for educators of Adult Basic Education, GED and Workforce Development programs.

Today, in celebration of WXXI’s 40th anniversary, the station unveils a newly designed Web site. As the media landscape has changed over the last 40 years, WXXI has been a leader in that change. WXXI was the first station in Rochester to utilize satellite transmission, the first to broadcast a full-power digital television signal and now, seeing the integration of the Internet in all media, WXXI provides a Web site that will greatly enhance the experience for users of WXXI’s services. With well over a million hits per month, has proved to be a valuable resource for those in our community and has garnered several awards including a PBS National Communications Award for Best Public Television Web site. Much has changed over the years at WXXI and, in keeping up with leading edge Internet technologies, the renovated site boasts additional features, including enhanced streaming of all of the radio services, podcasts, posted playlists, TV and radio schedules, local arts and weather, educational resources and much more. Teachers and students can access Ed Video Online, a school video on-demand service that provides instructional television programs and video clips for instant streaming and downloading. Plus, a new search function effortlessly leads visitors to countless pages and valuable links.

The 40th celebration continues on Saturday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when WXXI opens its doors to the public for a day of free, family fun! WXXI characters like the Big Red Dog and Curious George and local sports mascots will welcome kids of all ages for hours of fun including tours, presentations, and other special events. Local children’s author Stu Smith will read from his latest book and sign books while grown-ups can talk with Fascinatin Rhythm’s Michael Lasser about his newly released book, America’s Songs. Guests can mingle with WXXI-TV and radio personalities in the studios and wander on sets while kids can participate in hands-on craft activities. For more information about the Open House, call (585) 258-0200 or visit


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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