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

Visionary Minds PR and Media

Organizers of a World AIDS Day event this weekend are hoping an evening of fashion and music will be an incentive for people to get tested for HIV and learn more about the disease.  This year’s House Ball will be preceded by a health fair.  Kareem Everett is program coordinator at the High Impact Prevention Strategy, or HIPS at Syracuse Community Connections.

"We don't do this event just to have a party or to have a ball.  We do this to bring awareness to this community that's kind of sheltered."

file photo

Minor party candidates in Syracuse and across the state will have an even harder time gaining traction under new rules proposed by the state’s public campaign finance commission. Gloria Mattera is co-chair of the Green Party of New York State.  

"Basically this was an attempt to assassinate smaller parties."


The new threshold for maintaining ballot status jumps from 50,000 to 130,000 votes in a gubernatorial election. 

John Marino / Wikimedia Commons

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud sent a message to the university community Monday with an update on the work they're trying to accomplish toward campus safety when students return from Thanksgiving Break. 

Chris Bolt / WAER-FM 88.3

The head of a non-profit leadership and diversity firm says it appears that Syracuse University doesn’t have a solid plan in place to handle the racist incidents that have consumed campus over the past two weeks.

WAER file photo

  UPDATED 11/22

After University officials announced agreements on most of student demands, the #NotAgainSU protest leaders read a statement that they did not agree to the memorandum signed by the Chancellor. 

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

Fifth graders at Delaware Elementary School paraded down their hallways Thursday holding signs with anti-tobacco messages and chanting "Be Smart!  Don't Start!"  Thursday was the Great American Smokeout, which encourages tobacco users to take those first steps toward quitting. 

Chris Bolt / WAER-FM 88.3

Law enforcement officials in Central New York and across the state are sounding the alarm about pending justice reforms set to take effect January first.  Surrounded by dozens of deputies, officers and supporters, Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway says they had no opportunity to offer their insights to lawmakers or the governor when they crafted the new laws. 

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

There’s encouraging news from this year’s state of homelessness report.   Megan Stuart is director of the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York.

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

The multiple agencies investigating incidents of racist graffiti, verbal attacks, and most recently, a manifesto released electronically are reassuring Syracuse University students and faculty that they’re not in danger.  Officials say Monday night, someone airdropped what appeared to be copy of the manifesto written by the New Zealand mass shooter, which prompted a request for state police patrols in and around campus. 

Sasa Tkalcan /

Multiple grammy-winning songwriter Jimmy Webb is making a return to Syracuse, along with a special opening performance from a Syracuse native.  In his 50 year career, Webb has written songs performed by everyone from Frank Sinatra and Glenn Campbell to Linda Ronstadt and Donna Summer.