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

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Onondaga County lawmakers Tuesday gave their final approval to a $1.33 billion budget that lays out the county’s priorities for next year. 

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. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Vera House today to call on senate leadership to allow a vote on the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA.  The legislation expired eight months ago, and the House already passed a five-year extension. 

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Syracuse community members gathered outside of city hall Friday to recognize World Cerebral Palsy Day.  On October 6, Syracuse and cities in over 80 countries around the world  will raise awareness about the neuro-motor condition, and urge people of all abilities to exercise and play together. 

Sharif King / WAER-FM 88.3

Most Central New Yorkers know lacrosse originated on the shores of Onondaga Lake thousands of years ago with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.  But many might not know it’s much more than a sport: It’s a game of peace and community that can be linked to American democracy and the women’s movement.

An Onondaga County Lawmaker who supports the construction of a massive distribution center on the site of the current Liverpool Golf and Country Club says the public seems split 50/50.  A public hearing was held this week at Liverpool High School.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County’s Mental Health Services team is getting more resources to assist at-risk young people struggling with mental illness.   The Department of Children and Family Services will receive $4 million in federal funding over the next four years.

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Anyone who’s been to the Everson Museum lately has experienced a wide-range of Yoko Ono's works spanning six decades.  The exhibit called “Remembering the Future” is the culmination of the museum’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration.   Visitors will find it chaotic, interactive, and thought-provoking. 

John Smith / WAER-FM 88.3

Suicide Crisis Centers in Central New York and across the nation could get a boost in federal funding under bi-partisan legislation introduced by Congressmember John Katko.   This bill would expand the services available to those in crisis by allowing more robust staffing of the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Nursing students at two Central New York Community Colleges have a new path to a four-year degree and the opportunity for employment.  Monday, presidents from SUNY Upstate Medical University, Cayuga Community College, and Onondaga Community College signed agreements to create a dual-admission Registered Nurse Bachelor’s Degree program.