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

Calder Lee Stewart / WAER News

The Syracuse Downtown Farmers Market came to a close for another year Monday.  Change might have been the watchword for the day – due to the season and the changing nature of downtown.


Aaron Kassman

Syracuse University presented a different aspect of accommodations for people with disabilities this weekend. OrangeAbility offered a day of inclusive and adaptive hockey, basketball, tennis, and more for students and Central New Yorkers who identify with a disability. President of the Disability Student Union Priya Penner said that sports are essential to disability culture, especially at SU.

“We really like focusing on sports with this particular event because Syracuse University is such a big sports school,” said Penner. “Also sports generally just bring people together, there’s that camaraderie within teams, there's a lot that makes sports a really awesome lens to look into disability culture and disability pride.”

But for many of the athletes, sports are more than just a fun social activity. They can also be a life changing development.

Utica-area Congress member Claudia Tenney says the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico is not perfect, but is an improvement. The USMCA replaces NAFTA, fulfilling one of President Trump’s campaign promises. Tenney says the new deal will offer a big boost to Upstate New York’s dairy industry.  She’s already hearing from farmers who are eager for some relief.

A high-ranking naval officer with roots in Central New York is spending a few days in his hometown, visiting students of all ages to talk about his long career in the Navy. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A Syracuse-based company filling a growing need in health care continues to grow and expand.  Nascentia Health provides in-home nursing care, other home health assistance, and elder care in both day-program and home settings. 

Scott Willis/WAER News

A change in leadership at the top of Onondaga County government took little more than a week – with scant opposition.  The resignation of Joanie Mahoney as County Executive paved the way for the unchallenged appointment of successor Ryan McMahon. 

John Smith / WAER News

A new installation of electric vehicle chargers in DeWitt is part of a move by the state to increase use of EVs. Three new stations were unveiled Monday at the DeWitt Town Hall.

Elizabeth Kauma / WAER News

Demolition began Wednesday on the former Roth Steel property, as Onondaga County officials celebrate the end of the three-year process to acquiring it. The Industrial Development Agency has already spent $2.3 million cleaning up the facility, to transform it into a critical portion of the Loop-the-Lake trail and other use consistent with plans for the area.

Erron Franklin / WAER News

Republican Marc Molinaro continues his tour across New York calling out Governor Cuomo for ongoing corruption and its impact on state business and eroding public trust.   Molinaro’s visit to Syracuse Thursday came on the same day Cuomo Administration official Joe Percoco was sentenced to six years for accepting bribes from leaders of state contractors. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins says his Green Party has an opportunity to capitalize with progressive voters, many of whom did not want to back Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the recent primary.   Hawkins believes he is the best candidate for Governor in the upcoming November election at a time when the nation is going through a political shift, especially for democrats who supported Cynthia Nixon and her policies.