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

Greg Craybas /

 (UPDATE:  The Morning Presentation and Birding Walk has filled; A second session has been added, running 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., also Feb 11th)

Contrary to what many Central New Yorkers might believe about Onondaga Lake’s ecosystem, it has become a winter home for many Bald Eagles. An event coming up February 11th aims to explain why.

(event registration & deadline info below)

Chris Lajewski is director of the Montezuma Audubon Center.

Best Sports Story

The Reformation of the Big East

The Big East Conference has always been known for producing some of college basketball's best teams. But when the conference fell apart just a few years ago, many questioned if it would ever return to glory. WAER's Jared Barton dives into exactly how the Big East re-positioned themselves back into mix of top conferences in the NCAA. 

  Best Sports Story

Legacy of Pearl Washington & Syracuse Basketball

(Please Scroll Down for Spot News, News Feature, and Human Interest Feature entries)


Community Members Demand Action on Poverty

Several community activists in Syracuse tracked down Congress Member John Katko at one of his constituent stops and turned the topic to poverty.  They highlighted areas - social supports and violence - they believe Washington might help....and got his take.  WAER's Chris Bolt has more.


Reena Tretler/WAER News

The crowd at Syracuse's Hancock Airport flooded the main terminal Sunday night, with people filling the upstairs common areas as well.  It was all part of a protest against the immigration ban imposed by executive order by President Donald Trump over the weekend. 

Chants rang out several times: "No ban, no registry, this is our Democracy" chimed one.  Another said, "Muslims are welcome here; No hate, no fear."  And a lengthy chant said, "Down with white supremacy; no ban, no registry."

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A coalition of more than 40 agencies is banding together to try and strengthen human services and get more investment in New Yorkers’ wellbeing.  The “Restore Opportunity Now” campaign is pointing out weaknesses in health, housing, employment and education services due to state policies. 

Elana Sukert/WAER News

An estimated 2000 people, gathered at the Federal building in Syracuse the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.  That was just one way residents protested the new President and some of his policy proposals. 

Earlier in the day hundreds boarded buses in Dewitt and elsewhere around Syracuse to head to Washington for the Women's March there.  The Bishop Harrison Center drew hundreds for a separate event that ...

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Several Central New York health, labor and civic groups joined Mayor Stephanie Miner Thursday to warn against a huge interruption of health care.  They want to make sure before congress repeals the Affordable Care Act, there’s a replacement in place.  A big part of their message is that many things are impacted if people lose insurance.  Miner highlights some of the concerns she’s heard.

The stories of Syracuse veterans’ struggles going through – and transitioning out of – the military will take to the stage Wednesday Night.  Syracuse Stage will borrow from a past play to present an intimate portrayal of unseen aspects of life after service.

file photo

Lost in the attention of all the proposals in the State of the State address was one more idea for change particularly interesting to businesses.  Governor Cuomo pledged to reform worker’s compensation.  The news was welcomed by the state’s the Business Council of New York State, and its Director of Government Affairs Lev Ginsburg.

Centerstate CEO/Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc.

There’s quite a bit of optimism about the local economy among businesses and analysts at Wednesday's Economic Forecast Breakfast…though much of it is guarded.  There is also some uncertainty and a challenge to businesses to break the status quo.