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 ! 

Ways To Connect

(c) John Smith, WAER.

An offer to “go solar” through a low-cost program has resulted in 70 Onondaga County homeowners placing energy saving solar panels on their rooftops. 

The time to enroll for Solarize Syracuse has passed; but the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board’s Chris Carrick says there are still ways to save.

“So, the federal tax credit is currently 30%, and it’s scheduled to go down to 10% by the end of 2016. So this is a great time for folks to go solar if they’re thinking about it,” Carrick said Thursday.

Onondaga County Honors Veterans on Veteran's Day

Nov 11, 2014
Angelica Rodriguez / WAER News

Today Onondaga County remembered and honored D-day Veterans and all Armed Service members in the annual Veteran’s Day ceremony at the War Memorial Center in Downtown Syracuse.  70 years ago U-S soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on  D-Day to liberate Europe from Nazi control.   

CSEA Central Region 5

A spokesman for a labor union that spans New York State says the state did not see the same political polarization that Washington did after the outcomes on Election Day. However, there is still work to be done.  Steven Madarasz, a representative of the Civil Service Employees Association, says the union endorsed candidates whose record they were familiar with, and the union had personal experience with.

John Smith / WAER News

Onondaga County will be getting itself into the concert business at Onondaga Lake with a new $49.5 Million dollar amphitheater with projections it won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

Dredging of Onondaga Lake Concludes One Year Ahead of Schedule

Nov 3, 2014
elected officials gather around a podium at the Onondaga Lake shore to announce that dredging of the lake has finished ahead of schedule
John Smith / WAER News

Politicians and scientists from around Central New York gathered Monday to mark a major milestone in the restoration of Onondaga Lake. Honeywell, which has been overseeing the lake’s restoration, announced that the dredging of the lake has been completed one year ahead of schedule. 

This comes after decades of concern regarding contamination levels in the lake. SUNY-ESF president Doctor Quentin Wheeler put the importance of the newly dredged lake in perspective: 

 

(c) John Smith, WAER.

Central New York women are being mindful of their health today and finding out about a condition that develops over time but often has dire consequences. 

This condition, heart disease, is the number one killer of women. Thursday, the American Heart Association held their 11th Annual Syracuse “Go Red For Women” Luncheon & Expo, in an attempt to, once again, raise awareness for the disease.  

Onondaga County

A key vote next Monday could decide whether or not a nearly $49.5 million dollar amphitheater goes up along the western shoreline of Onondaga Lake. The County Ways and Means Committee had a lengthy debate over the projected revenue streams on Monday and narrowly passed $49.5 million dollars in bonds to cover construction costs.

John Smith

  Students at Delaware Elementary School in Syracuse probably made some healthier choices than some adults today on this National Food Day.  The students have been learning about fresh fruits and vegetables all week. 

John Smith/WAER News

The Magnarelli Community Center at McChesney Park is one of the busier recreation facilities in Syracuse that’s utilized by Youth and Seniors on the North Side.  Between the gym and an undeveloped green field next to Grant Middle School, residents will have an opportunity to play more basketball games during the cold weather and a soccer field down the road through a $350,000 grant.  Assemblymember Bill Magnarelli secured the funding and says his office received numerous calls for a soccer field.


John Smith

Does Joanie Mahoney see some of the same qualities as former Congressmember James Walsh in Republican John Katko?  Standing along the shore of Willow Bay at Onondaga Lake she recalled Walsh’s efforts to clean it up by securing funding.  

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