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

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!"

Kevin Fitzpatrick / WAER News

Kids at the state fair Thursday got to imagine themselves as New York’s farmers of tomorrow.   As part of agriculture career day, young scientists performed hands-on experiments on local produce, and then set out on a scavenger hunt to learn about the ways the vital and expansive industry is advancing across the state. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

The New York State Fair is officially underway for its 13-day run, and with it comes a few more changes in amenities and programming to improve the experience for fairgoers.  Spokesperson Dave Bullard says there’s the most obvious addition…

"When people walk out into the center of the fairgrounds, they're going to see something they haven't seen before.  They'er going to see this massive building...90 feet tall at the peak, 440 feet long.  It's a big, big building, and it's really going to be special for our non-fair business going forward."

Scott Willis / WAER News

Farmworkers in Central New York and across the state are hoping to get Governor Cuomo’s attention when he opens the state fair on Wednesday.  Rebecca Fuentes is with the Workers Center of CNY.

"We know we're going to have this huge celebration of agriculture at the New York State Fair.   we'll all go to see the dairy pavilion, the apples, everything New York offers.  Let's remember who is behind that labor."

The results are in from a major community engagement effort to see what Syracuse residents and other stakeholders would like to see in a new police chief.  Months of meetings and outreach culminated in the release of the 74-page report.  The recurring themes of accountability and commitment to the community resonated with a pair of common councilors.


President Trump’s visit to Utica earlier this week for a fundraiser brought more attention to a congressional race that’s already one of the most competitive in the nation. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

More than 1,000 Syracuse high school and college students were recognized with a picnic and music Thursday for spending the past six weeks working for numerous area companies and non-profit organizations. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors could decide as early as next week whether to borrow 38 million dollars to purchase more than 17,000 street lights from National Grid and convert them to LED.  


onondagacountyparks.com

The public will get to hear more details this week about the next phase of remediation to Onondaga Lake along the southwest portion of the lake and where the County plans to extend biking and hiking trails. 

 

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