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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SHARON CONCERNED ABOUT TRAGIC DEATHS IN SYRACUSE
3:03 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Republican Sharon Enters Race for the 128th State Assembly District

Republican State Assembly Candidate John Sharon
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Republican John Sharon is shopping for voters and support in the 128th State Assembly District. He announced his intentions to run at his community based campaign headquarters located in the Valley Shopping Plaza in Syracuse. The private practice Lawyer also formerly worked 35 years for the Onondaga County Law Department where he rose to Senior Deputy County Attorney and handled litigation. Sharon says he’d like to be part of the solution to problems in the State.

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BUSINESSES REMAIN OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE
6:56 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Armory Square Businesses Affected by Road Construction in Different Ways

Traffic on West Fayette is down to a single, one way street near Franklin
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Road Construction near Armory Square is affecting some businesses in different ways but, they remain optimistic of the future results for the Downtown Syracuse economy. Merchants and restaurants remain open and it doesn’t appear difficult to locate parking on the street or in a garage. Work on the expansion of the Connective Corridor has West Fayette Street down to a single, one-way lane near the Square but, the manager of the Marriot says it’s not interfering with customers booking rooms.

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PUBLIC TOURS OF CENTER SATURDAY JULY 19th.
3:04 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

74 Million Dollar Upstate Cancer Center is a Reality; Center to Open August 25th

The exterior of the new Upstate Cancer Center on East Adams Street in Syracuse.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

A dream that’s been in the making for a very long time came true for Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse today.  The hospital held the official ribbon cutting of the 74 Million Dollar Upstate Cancer Center to provide expanded care and treatment in a welcoming, state of the art building.

Listen to John Smith's story about the new Upstate Cancer Center.

  

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CNY Ronald McDonald House in Need of Donations
12:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

CNY Ronald McDonald House is Celebrating Christmas in July to Drum Up Donations

The CNY Ronald McDonald House
Credit John Smith/WAER News

The Ronald McDonald House of Central New York is hoping the spirit of Christmas giving will help them drum up donations for their annual Christmas in July Campaign. The home opened the doors of its new location in December of 2012 in Syracuse. 

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24th DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL RACE
5:44 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

GOP Congressional Candidate John Katko Targets Gas Taxes, Infrastructure Plan

GOP Congressional candidate John Katko in front of the Pilot Travel Center on 7th North Street.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

Most Central New Yorkers are probably keeping an eye on the price at the gas pumps as we head into the holiday weekend.  The Republican Candidate for the 24th Congressional District is partially blaming his opponent for not allowing prices to go down.  John Katko claims that Democratic Congressmember Dan Maffei voted against a bill last week that would have lowered the Federal gas tax.  

  He stood near a gas station on 7th North Street in Liverpool.

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