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

Elissa Candiotti/WAER News

A group of former prisoners sat in tears in the Syracuse Federal Court today… but not for the reason you might expect. They were recognized by the Intensive Reentry Court Program for their successful transitions back into society after prison. Former drug addict, Sonya of Potsdam said she was at first reluctant to join the program.

   “I didn’t know how to say no to drugs, you know, that’s my first thinking, “Well huh I’m in a new city let’s go”, but I knew I couldn’t do that.”

Marc Ramos / Symphoria

  Symphoria is announcing its new season on the heels of a successful year which saw attendance jump more than 20 percent in single ticket sales.  Some highlights of the new season reflect how the orchestra is attracting audiences.

The upcoming season at Syracuse Stage will be the last chosen by outgoing artistic director Tim Bond.  It reflects his ideas of diversity – in style, tone, and culture.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Just days after Earth Day one environmental group is raising concerns about the water quality in New York’s rivers and streams.  The problems are both the specific threats and the lack of information about them.

  A Syracuse filmmaker counted on the talents and generosity of hundreds of people to get to the debut screening of his feature-length film Iris.  Chris Steinberger wanted to make an Independent film…that didn’t seem like an Independent film.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  One of the annual rites-of-passage every spring is the release of the Syracuse M-and-T Jazzfest Lineup.  This year’s announcement has plenty of story lines...the music, the local gathering of talent, and some national recognition for the founder.

John Smith/WAER News

  Supporters of one Democratic Presidential candidate brought a Senator of Minnesota and Mayor Stephanie Miner together on an issue important to Syracuse.  They support Hillary Clinton’s infrastructure plan…and gathered at Plum Street Bridge near Franklin Square, built in 1908.

“And it was renovated, it needs to be fully renovated and right now they’re re-decking it.  It gets approximately 300 cars a day.”

Central New Yorkers Came to Trump Rally to Cheer, Protest & Satisfy Curiosity

Apr 17, 2016
Elissa Candiotti/WAER News

  Presidential candidate Donald Trump left many Syracuse residents looking forward to a brighter future for the city. Thousands showed up to the rally at the OnCenter Saturday to support Trump’s campaign…but plenty came out to protest as well.  And some were just interested in the Trump phenomenon.

Syracuse "Felt the Bern" for Sanders at Campaign Rally

Apr 12, 2016
Chris Bolt/WAER News

  About five thousand people filled the main hall of the Oncenter on Tuesday  to hear democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just a week ahead of the New York state primary.  The crowd cheered after about every other sentence as Sanders relayed his message to the people of Syracuse.  Sanders drew cheers of support when he compared harsh drug laws and their consequences to crooks on Wall Street.

  Researchers at Syracuse University are halfway to their goal of testing 300 local kids to examine their LEAD levels. Most of us think lead testing in kids might have to do with old paints in homes which contain lead, however, Professor of Public Health, Dr. Brooks Gump explains why this test is much different.

Syracuse researchers are looking specifically at food sources with traces of lead.