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

Chris Bolt/WAER News

What are the pros and cons of raising the tax Onondaga County collects from people staying in local hotel rooms?  That’s the question county lawmakers are considering, after County Executive Ryan McMahon and Visit Syracuse asked for a jump in Room Occupancy Tax. 

WAER File Photo

The flu looks like it’s getting a jump start on the normal infection season here in Central New York.  Pharmacist Shannon Miller is Director of Patient Outcomes for Kinney Drugs.  She says reported cases in the state jumped 77% in the last week. 

Cindy Bell for Look Now Project /

Facing breast cancer means different things to different people.  That was the mission of – and the takeaway from – the production of TitBits: Breast Cancer Stories in which 8 people share how they were affected (listen below).  Patients, doctors, caregivers all recount personal and emotional details of their stories.  Excerpts of the production aired on WAER as an episode of Syracuse Speaks.

Maiya Focht/WAER News

In our current world of health trends and fad diets, it can be difficult to separate out fact from fiction. In the case of dietary supplements, there happens to be quite a lot of overlap. To develop a better understanding of the lines between the two, and the science behind it, we interviewed three individuals with expertise in the field of supplements.

A drug treatment expert is praising Governor Cuomo’s proposal to ban a synthetic Opioid derived from Fentanyl that is adding to the Opioid crisis. 

The Governor’s plan aims to expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT, and treat synthetic Fentanyl as a controlled substance, making it illegal and easier for law enforcement to fight.  

WAER File Photo

Central New York Congress Members John Katko and Anthony Brindisi further explained their votes when the House of Representatives took up articles of impeachment against President Trump.  Both followed statements mad earlier, with Republican Katko voting against the two articles and Democrat Brindisi voting in favor of approving the indictments of the President. 

WAER File Photo

Congress Member Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)has made public his decision to vote in favor of articles of impeachment the House of Representatives plans to take up Wednesday.  The Democrat, who won the seat by just about one percentage point in 2018, says President Trump is his president too.  But the actions for which Trump is accused, are too brazen and likely illegal.

WAER File Photo

Now that articles of impeachment have been finalized by congressional committee, Central new York’s representatives are indicating how they’ll vote when the two measures come before the house.

Republican John Katko (NY-24) continues to criticize the process as being too harsh, given the circumstances.

Adirondack Park Success is Bringing Problems

Dec 9, 2019
Adirondack Council

Tourism advertising campaigns that show-off the beauty of the Adirondack Park and the charm of its villages are proving to be successful in attracting more visitors there – maybe too successful. / St.Paul Church

An event that mixes music with community, inside one of Syracuse’s architectural gems returned to the Salt City Thursday night for a weekend run.