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

NY Farm Bureau Reports on Economic Fallout

Jul 23, 2020
Lisa /

The COVID-19 economic fallout has not spared the farming industry.  The New York Farm Bureau estimates 65% of farms have taken a financial hit due to the global pandemic.  It’s not because the demand for all farm products has slowed.

Central New York Congress members from opposite sides of the political aisle have a lot of similar ideas about how to help the country deal with the ongoing COVID pandemic.  Democrat Anthony Brindisi and Republican John Katko are both concerned about the financial troubles cities are in.  Brindisi says local communities have struggled because of how long things have been shut down.

Lawrence Jackson, White House Photographer / Wikimedia Commons

Civil rights advocate and Congressmember John Lewis is being remembered in Central New York as a selfless crusader who’s connected to the racial justice movement of today.

Central New York’s attention has understandably been on the COVID pandemic and racial justice.  But three area educators wanted to focus on another looming crisis – climate change.  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Central New York businesses still hurting or closed due to the coronavirus pandemic can seek remaining federal funds to assist with bills and retain employees.  

WAER File Photo

The City of Syracuse continues to face a mounting financial crisis, but could get a little help from Friday’s opening of Destiny USA.  The mega-mall has been closed since mid-March amid the coronavirus.  That cost the city an estimated $80 million  in sales tax revenue.

Renowned artist and photographer Carrie Mae Weems is heading up an awareness campaign to focus on the disproportionate impact COVID  19 is having on Black, Brown and Native American Communities.  Thursday, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh issued a proclamation honoring her and the project.

Health insurance companies regulated by the state are waiting to hear back about their requests for 2021 rate changes for premium holders. The companies, like nearly every other industry, face many uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and their requests vary widely.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

This year, Governor Andrew Cuomo already signed more than double the amount of executive orders he did in 2019. A group of Republicans believe he is silencing the state legislature. State Republican Chair Nick Langworthy spoke in Syracuse Wednesday, calling on state lawmakers to keep Governor Cuomo’s powers in check.

Candidates in New York’s primary elections are having to put any celebrations on hold, despite waking up this morning after election night.  Dana Balter and Claudia Tenney tallied the most votes from early voting and primary day ballots in their respective congressional races.