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

Apple Festival Returns to Lafayette for 42nd Year

Oct 13, 2014
Lauren Winfrey/WAER News


  It’s no secret, in Central New York, the apple crop is king.

And the Lafayette area has long been recognized as one of the primary apple-producing regions in the state.

The Lafayette Apple Festival has grown to be a community favorite, and a celebration of agriculture, local businesses, and apples!

Barb Hamlin is the owner of Pied Piper Maple Farms, and one of the local vendors at the festival.


  A recent string of home burglaries continues to worry residents in the town of Dewitt.  Local police are trying to stop this unusual crime spree.

The three break-ins in the Town of DeWitt this week alone are indicative of a trend that has been increasing since early this summer. Dewitt Police Lieutenant John Anton says the houses have been broken into at times of the day people are not typically home. He says it is possible one group could be behind the burglaries… and many of them seem to follow a pattern.

John Smith/WAER News

  Baby Boomers in Syracuse don’t have to stop working when they retire, in the traditional sense… it could actually just be the beginning of new career.  A new initiative in Syracuse hopes to get boomers putting their skills and experience to work to benefit the economy and local communities.

Syracuse International Film Festival

Film fans get a chance to take in the art and craft of other countries as the Syracuse International Film Festival gets underway tonight.  This year’s event will give audiences a chance to interact with filmmakers.

This year,  film buffs get transported to India for one of the highlights of this year’s festival.  Founder and Artistic Director Owen Shapiro chose works by Madhur Bhandarkar to show audiences something a little different.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  The two candidates for New York’s 24th congressional district are trying to make their case for who’s more in-touch with voters.  Republican John Katko criticized democratic representative Dan Maffei’s political ads that paint Maffei as a middle-class advocate.

Katko reviewed Maffei’s legislative record from 2013 when he proposed a dozen bills, only one of which became law.  The rest largely failed to gain any co-sponsors…even from Maffei’s own party.  Katko says now that it’s election season, Maffei is trying to make his record into something it’s not.

  Some Central New York colleges and universities might be paying close attention to a new California law aimed at curbing sexual assault. The law redefines the rules regarding sexual consent at public universities in the state. Vera House Executive Director Randi Bregman says that by shifting the scrutiny off of the victim… this law could encourage more women to report sexual assault.

Books in America have been censored for a variety of reasons: sexual content, violence, offensive content… and even depicting life that doesn’t seem quite “American”. Banned Books week took a look at some of the examples and the issues they raise.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey was greeted with cheers and a standing ovation today as she addressed a crowd of faculty, students and alumni at Syracuse University. Winfrey attended a luncheon and cut the ribbon for the opening of the new Dick Clark Studios and the Alan Gerry Center for Media Innovation at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. During her remarks, Winfrey wanted the students to know how fortunate they are to be at Newhouse


  Voters around Central New York are making the economy a top issue once again.  Congressional Candidate John Katko Wednesday released a plan that he says would help create more jobs and help businesses do better.   He’d propose a simpler tax code for businesses that would help them compete.

  Tuesday marked National Voter Registration Day, but New York hasn’t had the best history with voter turnout.  Just what keeps people from casting their ballots?