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

Scott Willis / WAER News

About two dozen activists from labor and community groups gathered on South Salina Street downtown Monday to mark the 53rd birthday of Medicaid and Medicare.  They’re increasingly worried that the health care safety net programs for the elderly, poor, and those with disabilities are in line for severe budget cuts.


file photo / NYNOW

Former Speaker of the New York State Assembly Sheldon Silver was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday after being convicted for a second time on federal corruption charges.

Brad Klein / WAER News

More than 160 Artists have transformed downtown Syracuse into a five -block art gallery, as the 48th annual Arts and Crafts Festival is underway.  Alice Maggiore with the Downtown Committee says Syracuse residents seize this opportunity to express their love of the arts.

"This weekend gives us the change really draw attention to that.  Everyone here knows that's the case year round.  But sometimes they need a big event to rally around, to celebrate, and to make that really known.  This brings the  community together”                                          

New York Farm Bureau on Facebook

Farmers in Central New York and across the state say they’re feeling the pinch of retaliatory tariffs placed on some of their products in the escalating trade war with the U.S.  They welcome the $12 billion aid package offered by the Trump Administration, but worry the damage may be permanent.


Cameron Tirado / WAER News

Students and staff at Franklin Elementary School in Syracuse unveiled a brand new playground with a ribbon cutting Tuesday morning, complete with a countdown.


Governor Cuomo's flickr page

Governor Cuomo’s economic development programs have been the subject of two federal corruption trials that ended with convictions for two of Cuomo’s former associates.  Some say problems with the state’s $9 billion economic development programs  go beyond  corruption, and  that the structure of the  programs  is flawed.


Scott Willis/WAER News

The 48 custom lanes have been dismantled and the Oncenter is definitely much quieter after the U.S. Bowling Congress packed up and left town last week.


Brad Klein / WAER News

The 19th annual Syracuse Nationals Auto Show began Friday morning, and thousands from across the U.S. and Canada were there to drive onto the State Fairgrounds and secure their parking spots. 

 

The largest car show in the Northeast draws classic cars owners who often invest lavish amounts of money to trick-out their rides.  Media spokesperson Bob McClean says the show helps to pump more than $13 million into the local community.

provided photo

Organizers of the 10th annual Stage of Nations Blue Rain ECOfest  have unveiled the entertainment line-up for the 2018 festival in Downtown Syracuse.  The event happens the last weekend in July.  The festival aims to get everyone thinking about their appreciation and environmental impact on the earth.

Do you need to up your game when it comes to being environmentally friendly?  Outside of the Onondaga Nation Arena in Nedrow on Thursday, Tadodaho Sid Hill began with a presentation before this year’s festival line-up was announced.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is calling a railroad bridge inspection report “woefully inadequate” in order to determine if the railroad viaduct through the city is safe.  The summary report comes two weeks after two 40-foot concrete sidewalls tumbled onto South Clinton Street. 

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