Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways to Connect

provided photo

Parishioners from a pair of Catholic Churches in Syracuse are watching with concern a new cycle of violence in Nicaragua more than three decades after they began their connection with the impoverished Central American country.   But unrest in the larger cities has largely spared the smaller, rural sister communities the parishes visit and support. 


Governor Cuomo's flickr page

Governor Cuomo is trying to drive more tourists into Oswego and the Lake Ontario region in hopes of boosting the area’s economy after persistent spring and early summer flooding.  Turns out the fishing season is one of the best in years, and Cuomo took advantage by chartering a fishing boat Thursday. 


twitter.com / @FirstStudentInc

About 1,200 additional Syracuse City School students will be riding the bus starting this fall after Syracuse Common Councilors Monday approved spending an extra $1.8 million to cover the cost.   


Whoisjohngalt / Wikimedia Commons

Historic protests in Puerto Rico forced Governor Ricardo Rosselló to resign Thursday after conversations leaked of he and his advisers making homophobic and misogynistic remarks. Puerto Rican natives here in Syracuse say they, and members of their family who still live on the island, haven’t seen protests of this magnitude.

Idawriter / Wikimedia Commons

More than one million dollars in federal HUD money is up for grabs in Central New York to provide subsidized housing for vulnerable populations.  About $460,000 is available for short term and permanent housing with case management and other services. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County Elections Commissioners demonstrated for the first time Wednesday how voters will check-in at the polls using new electronic poll books.  The bulky paper ledgers will be replaced with iPads, which will show a voter’s name, date of birth, and address. 


Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

More than 70 people from numerous advocacy groups gathered Tuesday in downtown Syracuse to urge Congressmember John Katko to take a strong stance against racism. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

Recent high profile suicides in Onondaga County and a higher than average suicide rate has Senator Chuck Schumer calling for increased federal resources for prevention programs. 


liebherr.com

Parts of one of the largest cranes in the world will be arriving in Syracuse early tomorrow morning as the next phase of steel installation gets underway for the new Carrier Dome roof.  Vice President and Chief Campus Facilities Officer Pete Sala updated the project Monday. 


Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson made a stop in Syracuse Friday to get a sense of the city’s stubborn and persistent lead paint problem.  Congressmember John Katko invited Carson and officials from several housing organizations for a roundtable discussion. 


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