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

ongov.net

Prosecutors in New York State might soon find themselves under a bit more scrutiny if the Governor signs a bill by a local state Senator that was approved by the legislature.  But how it might help ensure justice?  


nysdec.ny.gov

Beaches in Skaneateles are still closed as experts continue to test the algal blooms for toxins.  As a precaution, Clift Park and Skaneateles Country Club have been off limits since Tuesday.  Onondaga County public health official Jeff Till hopes lab results will be ready for Wednesday but he says information should be available by this weekend at the latest.  


Kevin Fitzpatrick/WAER News

Four hundred families in Syracuse will have a bit of an easier time getting their kids to school fed and ready to learn this year thanks to a partnership between Feed the Children and PriceRite. The Feeding Minds and Bodies campaign is offering crucial food, personal care, and school supplies to 100 families in need from each of the City school district’s four middle schools. 


Governor Cuomo's flickr page

  Governor Andrew Cuomo has made the rounds of national news programs now that he has become the target of a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association.  Cuomo, a gun control advocate, is asking other states to join him in fighting what he says is an “extremist” organization. The NRA says it’s Cuomo who has a political “vendetta” against the group that could lead to its demise.

 


nysed.gov

The state education department has announced it made an error in the distribution of some federal funding that favored the state’s charter schools over public schools.


Scott Willis / WAER News

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand used a stop at the former Hotel Syracuse Friday to point out the important role of federal historic preservation dollars in revitalizing older buildings.  She was celebrating the success she and senate colleagues had in including nearly 89 million dollars in the upcoming budget for department of interior’s historic preservation fund. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

A fast-growing LaFayette-based biotechnology start-up is partnering with SUNY ESF in hopes of creating a future workforce for themselves and the industry as a whole. 


onondagasbdc.org

Onondaga County lawmakers made policy on Tuesday something that’s been unofficial practice for decades.  They unanimously approved a measure that codifies the consideration of minority and women business enterprises, or MWBE’s for county contracts. 


ATF

A gun control expert from SUNY Cortland is worried that homemade 3-D guns have the potential to undermine law enforcement and pose a threat to public safety. 


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.


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