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

Oxford University Press

The Chair of the Political Science Department at Syracuse University, like many, finds the re-election victory of Russian President Vladimir Putin unsurprising.  Nor was it very democratic.  Brian Taylor just released his third book about Russian politics: “The Code of Putinism”.  He says, in fact, he was more excited about S-U’s win over Michigan State.

New Yorkers might have a new way to save for their future, if their workplace doesn’t offer a retirement plan now.  AARP and other groups are confident a proposal called Secure Choice will make it into law this year.  Legislative Director Bill Ferris said lots of people do not have an easy way to set aside a portion of their income.

Syracuse Men's basketball team was considered the last team in to the NCAA tournament but the committee that chooses the teams that don't make automatic bids.  Few people gave them much chance against 3-seed Michigan State Sunday, one of the best teams all season, and with one of the country's best players in Miles Bridges. 

None of that mattered to the gritty Orange who shocked many onlookers with a 55-53 victory, propelling them to the Sweet-16.


There’s no question the world of Science suffered a great loss with the passing of physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking.  But experts on people with disabilities say his life was also important in other ways. 

Many people can envision pictures of Stephen Hawking, using a wheelchair and talking through a computer device due to his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Meeting friends and maybe even a special someone for those in their 70s and older is the focus of a film that will be screened in Syracuse Thursday night. The Age of Love focuses on the issues behind elderly friendships and relationships that often go deeper than just having companions. 

Screening and Panel on Relationships and Aging Thursday @ 5:30 pm, Everson Museum, Syracuse

Construction season in Central New York is coming, with Spring a week away.  Safety officials want to make sure people know what’s underground before starting to dig – for anything from a home or building, to a pool or fence post.  Dig Safely New York hosted contractors at Onondaga Community College today.  Executive Director Kevin Hopper says they’ll contact utilities to identify underground problems.


A federal jury found Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco guilty on three counts of bribery and conspiracy to commit honest service fraud, in a Manhattan court room on Tuesday.

Percoco, Cuomo’s former closest aide who has been described as being like a “brother” to the governor, was found guilty of participating in two bribery schemes, where he netted nearly $300,000.

Fans of Syracuse Men's Basketball might have been surprised hearing that SU was one of the last teams selected for the field of the NCAA Tournament.  Whether you found out by watching the selection announcements Sunday night or caught it this morning in the news,  there had to be startling on some level.

ReZone Syracuse Plan Open For Public Comment

Mar 11, 2018
Chris Bolt/WAER News

Do you want to have a say in how downtown Syracuse is growing? …or how your neighborhood can stay quiet?  …or the look and size of buildings going up?  Syracuse has its ReZone Plan ready for public comment at a meeting Monday night.  One area of focus for Assistant Director of City Planning Owen Kerney was the neighborhood business corridors, such as James Street, Westcott or Tipp Hill.

Oscars by euronews

International Women's Day Thursday got a boost Sunday night, as the Oscars ushered in a week of conversations about the representation, inequality and sexual harassment of women in the workplace.