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

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  One of the people through the turnstiles at the State Fair Tuesday was Governor Cuomo.  He was ready to share with fairgoers his vision for a new look to the fairgrounds.  The visit was making good on a promise to move the attraction into the future.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  The Legionnaire’s Disease outbreak that hit New York City earlier this summer is now having an impact here in Onondaga County.  There’s not any disease showing up, but building owners that have cooling towers are now covered by new regulationsCounty Health Department Director of Environmental Health Lisa Letteney (LETT-nee) expects the new registry to be pretty widespread.

  New Yorkers with H-I-V or AIDS that risk becoming homeless might be able to get legal help from organizations around the state. In New York, over 100-thousand people with H-I-V were living in poverty-stricken environments at the end of 2013. New York State is making a $2.5-million effort to grant legal services to individuals and families affected by H-I-V/AIDS.

Mulholland Group / QPK Design


The Clinton Plaza Apartments downtown are in for some major renovations that will improve the exterior, but also fix up dozens of units that are uninhabitable.  Common councilors Monday approved a tax deal that will effectively cut their bill by two thirds for five years and about one third for the next five years, from what the city now receives from the property.  Councilor Kathleen Joy thought the tax break was well worth helping new owners turn around the building.

Chris Bolt, WAER news

  Syracuse area bar and tavern owners will have to crack down on underage drinkers or face a hefty fine of $10,000 and a possibly lose of their liquor license. The New York State DMV and  Liquor Authority are now making it a lot harder for underage drinkers to fly under the radar. With its full scale effort to train and enforce its underage drinking initiative across the state, the NYS Liquor Authority will be getting tougher on establishments by tracking the “last drink location” of underage drinkers and making it easier to detect fake ID’s its new vertical ID card for those under 21.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Help for small manufacturing businesses might be on the way. On Tuesday  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Syracuse announcing new legislation intended to help expand small businesses and boost manufacturing.  

Scott Willis/WAER News

An abandoned and run-down Verizon building that looms over Green Street in Camillus may have finally met its match. Senator Chuck Schumer joined Camillus Mayor Patricia Butler and residents in seeking to clean up or tear down what they deem an unkempt eye sore. 

Black Oak Wind Farm

A wind power project that's starting construction later this year is pointing out some of the changing economics that might make it a more viable alternative energy source. Wind energy pricing is now at an all-time low according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy. The price from wind power sale agreements in 2014 fell to just 2.35 cents/kWh. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A group of students from New York City is spending the week enjoying Central New York’s slower pace and environment.  The students are part of a program that might just launch them into science careers.

  China’s Currency is all over the news...and you might be wondering if there’s any relationship between you and the Yuan.  Well the devaluation is intended in part to help make China’s exports more attractive to the rest of the world.