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.  

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Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A one-two-three lineup of crowd-pleasing jazz artists and sunny skies with upper 70's temperatures gave the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island its first complete sellout.

The Saturday slate of Chick Corea, Norah Jones and Gregory Porter packed the outdoor venue at Fort Adams State Park, with views and sea breezes from three sides of Newport Harbor.

New York State officials are trying to stop companies from marketing products they say prevent or protect against the Zika Virus. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today sent cease-and-desist letters to seven companies that are taking advantage of public concern about the outbreak.


Utica Area Republican Congress Member Richard Hanna made public his decision Tuesday to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.  In a letter to The Syracuse Post Standard and Syracuse-dot-com, Hanna says he fears Donald Trump will make issues such as tax reform, infrastructure, immigration and the environment much worse.  In the opinion letter Hanna further calls Trump offensive and narcissistic.

  The 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act was honored in Syacuse by people sharing their own experiences.  Angela Winfield is a legally blind attorney who spoke at today’s proclamation. She recalls going on a cruise with her husband who is also blind, with their Seeing Eye dogs. Winfield was approached by a woman who asked the couple what they had to do to get pets on board.  And her husband responded, “Well first… we had to go blind.”

Karen Dewitt

  Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a surprise guest at   the New York delegation breakfast, Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders spoke to the delegates of Hillary Clinton’s home state, who received him enthusiastically, chanting “Bernie, Bernie” over and over . The Vermont Senator  told them that Clinton is the best candidate to beat Trump, who he calls a bigoted “demagogue”, who led the movement to question President Obama’s citizenship.

“That type of mentality does not and will not ever see the inside of the oval office,” Sanders said.

Karen Dewitt

  It’s supposed to be Hillary Clinton’s convention, but all of the focus Monday was on her primary challenger Bernie Sanders and his delegates, who continue to stew over a wikileaks release of DNC emails that showed favoritism to Clinton over Sanders.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A unique approach to housing the homeless took a step forward today when a small duplex opened in Syracuse to give two people a home of their own.  The tiny homes might be a novelty; the purpose might also be unique.

Christian Unkenholz/WAER News

A state grant of $250,000 will help families and individuals navigate addiction problems and help them seek treatment.  

Jason Chen/WAER News

A long time Syracuse plastic maker seems to be bucking the trend of the declining manufacturing sector in Central New York. But it hasn’t come without some help from the state. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stopped at the expansion of Tessy Plastics in Van Buren today to announce $13.5 million in aid.  Hochul says they’ve learned from the successful experience in Buffalo and believe Syracuse can have the same results.

Upstate Medical University Cancer Center researchers are optimistic that the recent “Cancer Moonshot” initiative by the White House will bring positive advancements towards treating the disease. Professor Leszek Kotula says this new push will help expand research efforts.