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

Onondaga County

County auditors conducting a recent review of Onondaga County’s Economic Development Office were denied access to PILOT agreements, an important source of revenue.  The Payments in Lieu of Taxes are one of the most common incentives requested by…and granted to developers to defray property taxes on projects large and small.  You might recall Destiny USA’s controversial 30-year deal. 


City of Syracuse

  

A park in the center of downtown Syracuse that has struggled to find its identity in recent years is about to get a facelift.  City councilors Monday approved an agreement for site preparation to begin soon at Perseverance Park on South Salina between Fayette and Washington Streets. 


Scott Willis / WAER News

Activists are using the occasion of Independence Day to urge Onondaga County and Central New Yorkers to protect the dozens of bald eagles which call Onondaga Lake home during the winter. 


file photo

Onondaga County lawmakers Tuesday approved $25 million worth of renovations for NBT Bank Stadium, but it doesn’t come without some reservations.  The county and state are splitting the cost.  Legislator Tom Buckel was the lone no vote, saying he’d rather put the money toward a new stadium downtown, where it should have been in the first place.


dec.ny.gov

About 20 SUNY ESF water stewards are among hundreds of others who’ve fanned out to waterways across the state this week hoping to prevent the spread of invasive species.  It’s called the “Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz,” where the stewards ask boaters if they can perform an inspection as they exit the water.  Kim Schulz  is Assistant Professor in the department of Environmental Forest biology at SUNY ESF.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Young Central New York students were learning about climate change Monday as part of what they’d need to know as an environmental scientist.  It’s one of a series of day camps held this week at the Museum of Science and Technology, with each day focusing on a specific career. 


Scott Willis

The influence of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City 50 years ago can be seen in the oversized portraits on display at Syracuse’s ArtRage Gallery.  Community engagement organizer Kimberley McCoy says the subjects of Hudson Valley artist Joe Radoccia weren’t necessarily at the riot or even alive at the time…


Teal There's A Cure Facebook Page

As many as 600 people are expected to fill Marcellus Park next week for the annual 5K walk/run to raise awareness for ovarian cancer.   “Teal There’s a Cure” is holding its 11th annual fundraiser on July 4th.  Ovarian cancer might be one of the less common types of cancer, but it does have a comparatively lower survival rate due to its later diagnosis.  Committee member Wendy Carl Isome is a survivor. She was diagnosed in 2010.

Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival / CNY Jazz

The combination of live music and wine returns to Syracuse’s Clinton Square late next month for an 11th year.  Organizers of the Berkshire Bank Northeast Jazz and Wine Festival are reassuring music lovers that they won’t have to go without an annual signature jazz event.


Scott Willis / WAER News

The democratic candidate for Onondaga County Executive says he won’t accept campaign contributions from any entity that does business with the county.  Tony Malavenda says it’s almost impossible not to be influenced after taking large sums of money from corporations, firms, practices, and consultants. 


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