John Smith

Host, Reporter, Producer

Thanks for visiting my page.  My career has been quite the journey and it's a long road before I arrived to WAER.  As a kid, I was always intrigued by microphones, singers  and music.  My parents bought me a cheap tape recorder at 5 1/2 (if you can still relate) and I began telling stories and singing like I was Bobby Vinton.  I'm Polish, so I like Polkas too!  Anyhow, I'd play myself back and keep practicing.  I grew up with a severely handicapped brother, Shawn.  He caught Spinal Meningitis at three and a half weeks old and it left him with severe brain damage and he was permanently bedridden.  So, I had some downtime while my parents took care of him.  When I reached 11 years-old I also took up ventriloquism and entertained my bro.  It was all of the conversations I couldn't have with him.  Shawn couldn't speak, he could only make sounds and had a beautiful smile.  Eventually, I took my act to kids shows on WSTM Channel 3; The Saturday Showboat and the STM Club and continued performing on TV for most of my teenage years.  I also performed in the Dairy Products Building at the State Fair.  It was also during my early teens that I kept practicing making radio demo tapes in my room, complete with turntables and a mixer!  Finally, I won a Junior DJ contest to appear as a Co-Host on a local Morning Radio Show at 15 1/2 with Big Mike Fiss (now on Sunny 102) and I've been on-the-air ever since.  Radio became my new focus after I won the contest.  That is until less than a week later after I appeared on-the-air, WSYT-TV, Fox 68 in Syracuse called and offered me a job to voice promos for their fall kids contest.  I've been doing voice-overs ever since.  I continued to play the hits on two Top 40 stations, served as a Morning Show Host on a Rock Station, and an Afternoon Drive Personality on an Adult Contemporary Radio Station for which I also served as a Music Director.  I've had the opportunity to meet many celebrities and even introduced concert acts in front of thousands of people at the State Fair, Turning Stone Casino and Oswego's Harborfest.  What an adrenaline rush !  All that practicing really paid off !


Serving our WAER listeners as the Local Morning Edition Host and News Anchor has been an honor.  Especially, knowing Dick Clark was a member of this very station.  He was and still is a huge inspiration to me.  I enjoy covering the news of the community and also working with and training Broadcast Journalism Students from Syracuse University's Newhouse School.  It's been a very rewarding experience and has helped me to put into perspective of where I've come from and how much more I'd like to accomplish in life.  My reporting has earned me several Syracuse Press Club Awards that I'm grateful for.  Most recently, I won a First Place award for Best Radio Feature story for "Dick Clark got his start in Syracuse" on May 4, 20013.  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that former WTVH-TV 5 Anchor Ron Curtis is also someone I've always admired.  A big shout out to my Mom and Dad for their love and support always; you are both truly amazing!  I'd also like to say thank you for all of great teachers and administrators in the Cicero-North Syracuse School District that have been supportive of me over the years where I also served as a Public Address Announcer !  Positive people make a difference in life and can inspire; I hope you hear that coming out your speakers when you listen to WAER ! 

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PUBLIC SERVICE LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
7:01 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Fowler High School to be Phased Out in Favor of New Technical High School

Fowler High School will transition to a new education model, becoming the Public Service Leadership Academy in four years
Credit Chris Bolt / WAER News

A new academy will be phased in at the former Fowler High School in Syracuse starting this fall.  Poor state performance is forcing the change, which was approved Wednesday by the SCSD Board of Education.

It will be called the Public Service Leadership Academy, and will include four career-specific academies:   First Responder, Homeland Security, Military Science and Entrepreneurship. Within those academies, students can opt-in to eleven more narrow career pathways – all under one roof. 

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City Infrastructure
6:19 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

City Lawmakers Want to Include Fixing Infrastructure Problems in This Year's Budget

Syracuse Common Councilors consider including fixing water main breaks and potholes in this year's budget proposal on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
Credit John Smith, WAER News

The city of Syracuse’s aging infrastructure and cold temperatures last winter is causing water main breaks to become even more common.  

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HIGHER EDUCATION
5:46 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Syracuse University Students Play Key Role in New Chancellor's Inauguration Festivities

SU students Adrianna Kam (left) and Allie Curtis (right) are entering a project at the Chancellor's inauguration that aims to improve self-esteem and promote leadership opportunities for teenage girls.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Massive tents on the quad, painters in the main entrance of Hendrick’s Chapel and a walk-through balloon bouquet were all indications Thursday that something of significance will be happening soon at Syracuse University. A full day of events will coincide Friday with the inauguration of a new chancellor.  As part of the celebrations, Kent Syverud wanted to involve students by encouraging them to submit ideas for projects they would like to launch to improve the campus and local community.  Allie Curtis is one of the contestants.

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HIGHER EDUCATION
3:16 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

LeMoyne College in Syracuse Makes History with Appointment of First Female Lay President

Dr. Linda LeMura was selected by LeMoyne's Board of Trustees as the college's 14th President.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

LeMoyne College in Syracuse made history Thursday with the selection of its 14th President.  Current Provost, Doctor Linda LeMura will become the first ever lay woman President at a Jesuit College on July 1, 2014.  LeMura expressed her gratitude Friday,  and became emotional sharing her family’s search for the American Dream which she says inspired her. 

Listen to Dr. Linda LeMura speak about her family's journey from Sicily.

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Third Annual Valor Day Helps Veterans Transition
6:33 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

SU Law School Event Provides Free Legal and Career Services to Veterans

The College of Law will provide legal and vocational assistance at its third Valor Day this Saturday, April 5th
Credit Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network

The Syracuse University College of Law will again partner with the Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network (VISION) to host its third Valor Day this Saturday, April 5. As a way of giving back to those who have served, law students, alumni and local volunteers will provide free legal and advocacy services for veterans, service members and their families.  

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