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

James Corrigan/WAER News

The start of early voting across New York Saturday was met with great enthusiasm, judging by the participation at some of the six polling sites in Onondaga County.  People reported waiting in lines to vote anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours or more. 

Lines at the Southwest Community Center wound through several blocks by mid-morning.  People waited mostly patiently in line before going into the center to vote.  Veteran Mick Dunmore was among the morning wave of voters and wanted to register his vote based on certain issues.

WAER File Photo

  On Saturday at 10 a.m. in Seneca Falls and across the country, demonstrators will be placing a call to action against the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.  Local Seneca Falls organizer and native Susan Scheuerman says the demonstration will have the ‘power of women’ as a central point. 

Elderly New Yorkers can determine their risk for contracting COVID-19 thanks to a new online tool from the State’s Office for the Aging.  It’s called CV-19 Check-up, and allows you to put in anonymous information to see how likely you are to become infected, and how severe the infection can progress. 

James Corrigan/WAER News

African-American men marched united on the streets of Syracuse Saturday for the Suited Up for Solidarity march, organized by Black Men United and Interfaith Works. The march was intended to empower black men and boys, and change the stigma of black men in the eyes of the community.

Positive coronavirus cases in the White House and among top US military leaders have raised the concern of one Syracuse University International Relations expert regarding the nation’s national security.  Officials out for medical treatment or in quarantine from exposure raises questions about leadership. 


Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh is one of seven mayors voluntarily quarantining at home for 14 days "out of an abundance of caution" after potential exposure to COVID-19 at a Wednesday press conference.  Binghamton Mayor Rich David fell ill a couple hours later, went to the hospital, and tested positive. Walsh characterizes his contact as minimal, and is leaving it to county health department officials to determine who else might be told to quarantine.

John Smith/WAER News

  Many major New York  cities, from Syracuse and Albany, to Hamilton and Ithaca are calling for more federal aid to get through the pandemic.  A dozen members of the New York Conference of Mayors gathered today at Syracuse City Hall to demand Washington stops bickering on aid for cities.

Benjamin Schiller/WAER News

More than a dozen residents stood in front of the Syracuse City School District headquarters on Friday evening to protest the district’s decision to reopen public school on Monday, October 5th. Teachers and parents have concerns over COVID 19 health risks and learning disparities.

  Local political science experts are sharing concerns about the Presidential campaign and the responsibility of running the country following President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump testing positive for the Coronavirus.  Cornell Professor Doug Kriner says it’s still not clear if the diagnosis will sway voters, but there is a key voting demographic to watch.

public domain

Reactions to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg quickly switched from condolence and praise for her landmark career to political posturing over whether a replacement nominee should be rushed through before November’s Election.  Reactions from Both Syracuse political experts and New York elected officials show they want the people’s voice to be defended.