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

Just about all students in Central New York schools will be doing at least some online learning this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.  But there are different perspectives on what kind of challenge it will be.

One Syracuse elected official knows first hand the accomplishment and message sent by the choice of Kamala Harris as the presumptive Democratic Vice Presidential nominee.  Assembly Member Pamela Hunter has herself, as a woman of color, had to win over voters to gain public office. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Onondaga Nation has weighed in on Columbus Circle.  Nation leadership seeks change, while including all cultures that call Syracuse home, in a statement released Wednesday.

US Army Photo

Upstate Medical University here in Syracuse is already getting hundreds of requests to be part of a study to find an effective coronavirus vaccine.  They started initial sign-ups Wednesday and they will continue in the weeks to come.

Syracuse University football players, coached and fans saw the season schedule get upended Wednesday by an announcement from the Atlantic Coast Conference to play a mostly conference-only schedule.  Each team in the conference will play 10 games against conference opponents, plus one other against a non-conference team.

Upstate counties and cities are competing to achieve the best U.S. Census response rate before Census volunteers come knocking.  The goal of the US Census Bureau's “PUSH Week” is to increase participation in the 2020 Census.  

WAER File Photo

A number of Central New York’s school districts are fine-tuning details for their fall semester.  However, the efforts to balance education with health and safety still leave uncertainty.

Global Warming Forum

Environmentalists and clean water advocates are celebrating passage of a bill that can help prevent the wastewater from hydro-fracking from getting into New York’s waterways.  There had been a loophole in clean water rules that prohibited any water used in oil or gas exploration from being categorized as hazardous. 

WAER File Photo

As Syracuse University and other schools consider starting college sports, the athletes’ academics and health are both concerns while the coronavirus is still a threat.  The SU athletics department is making the case for preserving as much of the on-campus experience as possible for the student athletes.

Syracuse area residents who marched and rallied for racial justice can see one result of their actions codified into law.  New York is poised to make Juneteenth an official public holiday.