Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways to Connect

Syracuse VA Will Offer Classes to Teach Veteran Families about Mental Health and the "New Normal"

1 hour ago
NationalGuard.mil

The Syracuse VA Medical Center is about to start-up another series of classes for families of veterans struggling with mental illness.  This marks the 11th year the VA has partnered with the National Alliance for Mental Illness, or NAMI.  Local recovery coordinator at the VA Ann Canastra says the 12-week program is aimed at families for a reason.

Scott Willis/WAER News

More than 900 Syracuse City school children will be going home with a backpack full of food every weekend thanks to a program that aims to fill gaps in hunger for under resourced families.  It’s called “Blessings in a Backpack,” which has grown this year to include five schools. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County homeowners are being asked to shell out an additional $30 next year to help cover the cost of repairing and maintaining the aging sewer system as part of Joanie Mahoney’s 2019 budget proposal.  She delivered her $1.3 billion spending plan to lawmakers Friday. 


facebook.com

Democrats in the state senate’s 53rd district will have a choice on tomorrow’s ballot between a long-term in incumbent and a progressive challenger.  Dave Valesky is trying to fend off strong opposition from Rachel May.   


Democratic primary voters on Thursday have a choice of four candidates for state attorney general, after former AG Eric Schneiderman resigned in May over allegations he physically abused several women that he dated.


Syracuse democrats heading to the polls for Thursday’s primary will see three choices for city court judge on the ballot.  All are Syracuse natives, all are running for office for the first time, and all have years of experience as attorneys who’ve tried a variety of cases in many different courtrooms.   They also say the position is more important than people think. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

Governor Cuomo all but ignored his primary opponent during a campaign rally Monday in Syracuse, and instead continued to rail against the Trump administration.  It was part of a final swing across upstate New York ahead of Thursday's primary against actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. 


Scott Willis/WAER News

The City of Syracuse has just launched an on-line dashboard designed to let the public monitor how the city is performing. The website uses data to measure progress toward goals such as delivering services effectively and increasing economic investment in the city.


Scott Willis / WAER News

It’s that time of year again in Central New York when law enforcement and school district officials issue their annual reminder to motorists to keep an eye out for children as they walk, bike, or get on the bus.


Scott Willis / WAER News

Anyone who goes to the New York State Fair knows there’s no shortage of food, games, rides, shows, music, and other activities.  There’s also no lack of elected officials or candidates seeking office.  Friday was no exception, as senator Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the wine seminar room in the horticulture building, probably much to the surprise of the other guests.

"Thank you all so much.  Let's have our wine tasting!"

Pages