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

Onondaga Community College

Onondaga Community College is planning to fully open campus for face-to-face instruction this fall in the hope of returning to some sense of normal.  President Dr. Casey Crabill says they’ll closely follow county, state, and SUNY guidance as August 30th approaches.

Provided Photo / Workers Center of CNY/Jessica Maxwell

Workers advocates here in Central New York are calling attention to protections they say are needed in a wide variety of job categories.  

photo provided / Frank Malfitano/Jonas Never (artist)

A new public art project in downtown Syracuse could honor the city’s history while making the city more welcoming and progressive.  The purveyors hope the project could become a downtown attraction.


What if you were walking or driving downtown and were greeted by huge artwork on buildings with notable figures from sports, music, social change?  That’s exactly what Frank Malfitano was after when he saw other civic murals.

It was one-year ago this week that Syracuse University made the decision to close down campus, as the COVID pandemic was rapidly growing.  Chancellor Kent Syverud is reflecting on that year … and remembers being questioned as the University initially tried to move forward.

governorandrewcuomo /

More people will soon be able to get vaccinated to prevent COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Syracuse Tuesday to explain the expanded guidelines. The event also made a push to alleviate fears and mistrust about the vaccine.

Flickr Army Medical

Telemedicine. You’ve probably heard the term passed around, or maybe you’ve even used the tech yourself to meet a doctor over the phone.  It’s like how you use Zoom to attend work meetings, except instead of sharing your screen with co-workers, you’re showing the doctor that funny mole you grew on your neck.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  The COVID-19 pandemic has upended many aspects of our community, and childcare schedules and norms are one of them. Providers are struggling to stay afloat while parents are trying to figure out when and what kind of childcare is the safest, best option.  Schools, community centers and even cultural institutions are trying to find ways to help.  WAER's Chris Bolt reports on some of the creative solutions that are helping parents through diffiucult times.

  As Black History Month comes to a close, Syracuse Speaks is sharing some parts of Central New York’s Black History.

WAER’s Chris Bolt explores the connections and history between Syracuse’s Black community and the city's music scene. 


Musicians Marcia Hagan, Reggie Seigler and Isaac Wynn share some of their memories of a vibrant scene with numerous clubs and venues that nurtured and supported Black artists.  But each also has memories of barriers that were tough to cross in Syracuse's racial situation through the years.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

Mayor Ben Walsh is officially in the race to keep his seat … and he has a clearer path to get on the ballot.  Walsh announced the backing of a political party that he says allows him to avoid partisanship and gridlock.

governorandrewcuomo /


  For much of 2020 Governor Andrew Cuomo was considered one of the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.  He was praised for his steady and focused daily briefings when national leadership was lacking. But recently, the governor has suffered a reversal of fortune, as a scandal over the suppression of the number of nursing home deaths dominates news coverage of his administration.