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

Shantelle Willock/WAER News

Community members raised concerns about the huge warehouse proposal in the Town of Clay – from health worries to environmental impacts to traffic snarls.  The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, OCIDA, held a public hearing Tuesday with representatives of the developer on hand. 


Community groups in Skaneateles want to expand the discussion around climate change and the impacts it’s having on Central New York.  Academic experts and local officials will look  at things such as local algae blooms, which experts never thought could happen, and ways to reduce fossil fuel use on Wednesday night.  The session is being put on by the Saint James Church Master Class, Skaneateles Lake Association, and

The Central New York Poor People’s Campaign hopes to highlight contemporary injustice and discrimination by looking back on 400 years of history. The 1619 Project will hold open discussions on the lasting effects of slavery on Sunday.

Leo Tully / WAER News

Nearly a dozen corner stores in Syracuse are now participating in a program aimed at offering healthier food choices, especially to children.  A new report showed that more than 14 percent of children in New York have obesity, placing the state 25th in the country.  

Longtime Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick will be joined by his two opponents Thursday evening at a forum that aims to engage residents on the importance of the county’s top lawyer.

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

How comfortable would you be seeing your doctor through a mobile phone or tablet?  Tele-medicine holds promise from bringing some types of medical care to rural areas, while also reducing costs for non-emergency physical and mental health needs.  Technology and acceptance are advancing, though the use of telehealth is still small.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County is continuing its tough stance against businesses that aren’t paying their taxes.  County Executive Ryan McMahon is threatening criminal action and property seizures on several hotel properties. 


Congress Member Anthony Brindisi has just enjoyed seeing his work rewarded … he had his first bill signed into law by the president.

Stigma, Secrecy and a lack of understanding continue to make suicide hard to prevent here in Central New York and across the nation.  Mental health also continues to get less attention than physical health problems. 


A Central New York national security expert says the whistle-blower complaint against the White House indicates some unusual activities by the President.  Bill Smullen directed Syracuse University’s National Security program and worked in the state department.