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 / WAER FM

Tax delinquent homes draw a lot of attention … but corporate properties currently owe Onondaga County more than $45 million dollars in back taxes, according to officials.  The county has a new strategy to go after the money – or the property. 


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A series of reforms in New York election laws were passed by lawmakers as their session ended last week … and they’re being called the most consequential in decades by Onondaga County Election officials.


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The proposed STEAM school in the old Syracuse Central High School building cleared its first major hurdle last week when state lawmakers approved the plan.  The Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math school is collaboration between the city, county, and area school districts. 


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Advocates for legalizing recreational use of marijuana came away from the end of New York’s legislative session disappointed – a feeling shared by Governor Cuomo.  But changes were made to the laws surrounding possession of the drug, and race is at the center of the legislation.


Chris Bolt/WAER News

Growth in the downtown Syracuse residential population and the number of new businesses continue to keep development officials optimistic about the city’s future.  The Downtown Committee held its annual meeting Thursday … and boasted of 20 new retail businesses in the past year. 


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If organizers get the record crowd they’re expecting for this Saturday’s Pride Parade and Festival, they say it’s an indication of how far the community has come.  Realities are changing for gay, lesbian, transgender and other residents here in Central New York. 

Organizer Sam Castleberry is on the board of C-N-Y Pride.  He says the festival is a time to celebrate the L-G-B-T-Q community in a comfortable and supportive way.

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

Syracuse Police officers did not use excessive force during a recent traffic stop that was made public on video.  That’s the decision of Police Chief Kenton Buckner, who released details of his investigation Monday.  He explained that combining citizen video with police body-camera footage, the use of force was appropriate because the driver was not complying and was resisting arrest. 

Buckner understands how the video on social media raised community concerns.

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Voters in New York City will decide on a measure that could significantly impact how they vote in the future.  A proposal for Ranked Choice Voting will be on the ballot.  It’s being praised for giving voters more power.


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What role might medical professionals in emergency rooms play in spotting the sometimes-hidden signs elder abuse and neglect?  A new strategy in an Emergency Room could help keep seniors safer at home. 


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Founders of the Time’s Up anti-harassment and abuse movement joined Governor Cuomo today in calling for passage of laws that would make it easier to bring rape and sexual abuse cases to court.  Supporters see the measures helping victims get justice.


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