Joe Lee

Director & General Manager

I've loved music for as long as I can remember.  As a boy I often found myself thumbing through my mother's records and staring at the album cover artwork.  It's how I developed the biggest crush on Minnie Riperton and Natalie Cole.  I later discovered many treasures among her modest collection including original releases of John Coltrane's Blue Train and Lush Life recordings.  As a teen, I ventured off into the world of Depeche Mode, The Smiths and The Police, but it was public radio that brought me home to my roots.  Listening to the local public radio station in my hometown (Baltimore, MD) provided opportunity for greater music appreciation.

Discovering public radio through my love of music has turned into a 20+ year career in public broadcasting.  I started working for my hometown public radio station (WEAA) in 1987 and, after a few years there as Music Director and Program Director, accepted a position at Syracuse University and WAER.  It was WAER's dual format of music and NPR news that made me the public radio junkie I am today.  One of the more rewarding aspects of my job is working with the talented students that walk through our doors everyday and, after 20+ years, I am fortunate to count many of them among my dearest friends.  Most of all I enjoy engaging our listeners, donors and business partners because they get what public radio is all about - a platform that allows us to enlighten, engage and entertain without hype or sensationalism.

Ways To Connect

Of Wine and Brothers

Dec 12, 2014

  The U.S. wine industry produces over 836 million bulk gallons of wine annually and the Syracuse area has its fair share of wine shops, discount liquor stores and even a few wine producers.  That's not unique to an area of our size.  What is perhaps unique, though, is that two brothers own and operate separate, similarly sized wine shops imprinted with their distinct antithetical personalities.

  During a celebration held on Saturday, August 23, 2014, Sean McDonough (SU '84) and Bill Roth (SU '87) were both inducted into the WAER Hall of Fame.  The program highlighted each inductees contributions to the sports broadcasting industry and their connection and contributions to Syracuse University noncommercial radio station, WAER, where both served as student broadcasters in the sports department.

Mel Rodz Photography

CNY Jazz Central Executive Director, Larry Luttinger, seems to have hit his stride with the NE Jazz & Wine Festival by connecting people's passion for music and wine and presenting it in an urban setting.  He will do so again July 25-26 in Clinton Square with the 2014 iteration of the popular event.

Dana Sulit

WAER inducted celebrated broadcaster Mike Tirico into its Hall of Fame on February 28, 2014 in a ceremony on the Campus of Syracuse University.

Enjoy these images from the evening's festivities.

Veteran broadcaster Mike Tirico becomes the 5th person inducted into the WAER Hall of Fame. The ceremony takes place on Friday, February 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM in Newhouse III on the campus of Syracuse University.

Slammed

Feb 14, 2014
Joe Lee

As the Syracuse University campus community bounces back from the St Valentine's Day "snow-massacre" 2014, winter continues to make itself at home on the SU hill.  

Tonight will be partly cloudy with a slight chance of flurries for CNY.  There is a risk of an additional inch or two of snow on Saturday.

FM Students Visit WAER

Dec 18, 2013

 Two groups of 6th graders from Eagle Hill middle school in the Fayetteville-Manlius school district visited WAER today for a tour of the station and to record their annual radio production of "A Christmas Carol".  The trip was arranged by teachers Kent Jeffery and Carol Borg.   WAER's Cora Thomas and Eric Cohen assisted with the recording.

Roots Of Smooth Host Passes

Dec 12, 2013
The Jazz Mind

Bobby Jackson, the talented and engaging host of The Roots of Smooth airing on WAER  Mondays at 8 PM died on December 9, 2013 in Cleveland, OH.  He was 57 years old.

Several Syracuse University buildings were vandalized with spray paint overnight.

Tyler Ennis scores 28 points to lead the No 8 Orange past Cal in the Maui Invitational 92-81.  Syracuse pulled away in the second half scoring 51 of its 92 points.  The team shot 55% from the field and hit 5 of 7 three-pointers.

The Orange benefited from balanced scoring as Trevor Cooney scored 23 points while C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant finished with 14 and 19 respectively.  Next up for the Orange is the winner of Baylor and Dayton.  You can catch all the action on 88.3 FM WAER.

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