Chris Bolt

News Director

Maybe I was destined for a career in radio when I built my first stereo receiver from a Heathkit box…then later spent time running wires over beer-stained floors for local bands in Colorado bars.  I remember becoming enamored with Public Radio's story-telling style covering an exiled music group that had come to Syracuse from El Salvador.  The piece involved interviewing through an interpreter and mixing in the music with a strongly-political story of death squads.  Over the next 23 years I’ve enjoyed covering the issues, people, events, challenges and accomplishments of Central New York. 

I came to Syracuse to finish a Broadcast Journalism degree at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.  I’ve worked at WAER since 1990 and truly enjoy our mission of educating and engaging the community, while training aspiring journalists and broadcasters.  I’m passionate about the area’s lifestyle and efforts to improve its vitality.   When not on a story, in a studio or editing and mentoring students, I can probably be found outside.  I love Central New York’s natural areas and waterways, as well as golfing and biking opportunities.  

Ways to Connect

Tom Honan/LiveSpaceEntertainment

When Tom Chapin does a benefit concert in Syracuse later this week to help Food Bank of Central New York, it turns out he's carrying on a decades-long tradition for him and his family.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Senator Dave Valesky will likely not be the Democratic Party nominee to continue in his State Senate seat after last night’s primary election results.  Rachel May’s grass roots effort proved strong enough to outpoll the incumbent.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The director of the New York State Fair has a lot to look back upon now that the event is finished.  Yes, this year’s fair broke attendance records.  And yes, there were the new renovations of the fairgrounds.  And yes, Troy Waffner was finally named Official Director of the Fair after five years as Acting Director.

John Smith/WAER News

Democratic Congressional Candidate Dana Balter continues to make health care an issue in her race against Republican Congressman John Katko.

Brian Gyss /

Efforts to prevent problems in sports gambling may come up short. With it now legal, some states have gone all in on sports betting. Other states, like New York, are also close to opening up the industry in existing casinos, but could broaden to online and mobile sports betting in the future.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Changing how we talk about drug abuse and more awareness of overdose remedies could cut down on the 72,000 reported drug-related deaths of the opioid epidemic last year. That’s the opinion of local parents who had children who have overdosed and local prevention experts today during International Overdose Awareness Day. 


Deanna Axe lost her daughter Morgan to an overdose.  She found her daughter’s character put on public trial – when her story of trauma wasn’t.

John Smith/WAER News

New York Farmers are generally celebrated at the New York State Fair.  But today some of those farmers made a call from the fairgrounds to end tariffs and a trade war they say is hurting them and local economies. 

Johanna Fox-Bossard of Barbland Dairy Farm in Fabius says she’s losing up to  $3000 dollars a day due to tariffs on cheese and would like to see more open markets.

John Smith/WAER News

Teachers at Holy Family Church in Fairmount are gearing up for another school year and getting some valuable training on how to best react to protect their students and themselves in the event of a serious threat.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

More federal rail inspectors might have been able to spot - and stop - the crashing concrete that narrowly missed causing severe injuries when it fell on Clinton Street this past July.  

Senator Chuck Schumer in Syracuse today made a call for the Federal Railroad Administration to hire more inspectors.

“The hit them once every 5, 6, 7, 8 years, much to infrequent because these bridges are deteriorating more rapidly.  That’s why we’re asking for a significant increase in inspectors.  I think each bridge should be inspected once a year, at minimum.”  

Lots of people have opinions about health of Onondaga Lake and recreation around it.  An update today from Onondaga County and Honeywell, hosted by FOCUS Greater Syracuse, shows that a number of projects addressing both concerns are moving right along.