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

An investment of $315 million dollars in Downtown Syracuse construction projects, the addition of 440 new hotel rooms within three years and a thriving arts, entertainment and sports scene are all positive signs of Downtown’s resurgence.

This year’s Syracuse International Film Festival is chock full of thematic, independent work, from short films to local and international ones that aren’t typically seen at local cinemas.

Now in its 14th season, the film festival is a viewer’s ticket to a plethora of ideas, locations and perspectives.

This Saturday, the Palace Theater in Eastwood hosts a film festival for horror movie fans. 

Freddy Fest is an all-day tribute to Freddy Krueger … and will feature the screening of all seven of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” films in their original 35 mm format.   Director Jack Sholder, who crafted Nightmare on Elm Street Two, will be there for a Q-and-A session, along with actors and vendors .

Leo Tully/WAER News

Syracuse residents rallied today to change the Interstate-81 overpass to a road system known as a “community grid”. They say that the I-81 overpass fragments and segregates the city. Robert Doucette is a member of “ReThink 81”, an organization pushing for the community grid. He says grid proponents are eager to see the results of a city-sponsored study on the overpass.

New Yorkers with student loans might work in jobs that can knock off part of the debt. But bad advice about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is leaving people left out and facing heftier payments than they planned.

Jazz and art fans might be interested in heading to Utica for a concert at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute Saturday.  The Hot Sardines will bring their up-to-date renditions of jazz tunes from decades past.  The concert supports the current exhibition, Roaring into the Future: New York 1925-35, which includes paintings, fashion, jewelry and other artifacts.

Reactions in New York to the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas included condolences and calls to increase controls of automatic weapons.  A state law that could help prevent acts of violence has also gained renewed support.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Spanish Action League of Syracuse is reorganizing its leadership to deal with Syracuse’s top ranking with the highest concentration of Hispanics living in poverty.  The League is now pursuing new partnerships with human service agencies and organizations.  Co-President Ramon Rivera says the organization has developed a new five point plan to meet their needs.

John Smith/WAER News

About 500 disadvantaged families in Central New York are getting a helping hand with something most parents take for granted – diapers.  The C-N-Y Diaper Bank handed out 27-thousand diapers last month.  Founder Michaela Hugo is acknowledging National Diaper Need Awareness Week by bringing attention to the problem.

People here in Central New York are concerned about the welfare of relatives and others in Puerto Rico.  New York is also the state with the most immigrants from the island, which is fueling relief efforts.  Syracuse University’s Bea Gonzales is from Cayey, Puerto Rico and has been trying to find out about her Father and Aunt there.  She’s heard they’re o-k, but hasn’t talked to either one.  In addition to impassable roads and no power, there’s another gripping problem.