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 ! 

Pages

Women's Equality & Health
4:26 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Mayor Miner and Local Supporters Rally Behind Governor's Women's Equality Acts

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner promotes women's equality and health issues at the Harriett-May-Mills House in Syracuse, NY on June 18, 2013.
Credit Max Brady, WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is joining forces with local Women’s Rights and Health supporters to call on the State Legislature to pass the Women’s Equality Act.  The Mayor gathered with advocates today at the Harriett-May-Mills House in Syracuse to help push the bill along before the legislative session ends.  

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Local Agriculture
5:30 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Syracuse Downtown Farmers' Market Opens

Fresh produce at Downtown Syracuse's Farmers' Market.
Credit Max Brady

A rainy start to the Downtown Syracuse Farmers’ Market today didn’t keep it from opening with a splash.  Workers stopped by on their lunch breaks to enjoy the fresh produce and baked goods, and left with items to take home.  The weekly event featured dozens of vendors selling fruits, vegetables, wine, baked goods, dairy products and decorative plants.

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Two young men recover from TBI injuries
2:51 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Out of Two Separate Accidents, Two Local Young Men Recover and Become Friends

Max Chepenuk of Cazenovia had his life change instantly in January of 2005, when a ski jump concluded tragically. "I was airlifted to Upstate in the most expensive helicopter ride I will never remember.”   

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SCSD students turned authors
3:39 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Syracuse City Schools students are now published poets and authors.

Credit Syracuse City Schools

A new series of books has been published that showcases the work of elementary and middle school students from the Syracuse City School District


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OCC Graduation 2013
2:22 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Onondaga Community College grads at the top of their class.

OCC 2013 Graduate Garrett Sisson is the Keynote Speaker at the 50th Commencement at SRC Arena.
Credit John Smith / WAER News


Onondaga Community College has been putting the finishes touches on its 50th Graduation Ceremony on May 18th at SRC Arena at the college.  Two students in the graduating 2013 Class won SUNY Chancellor's Awards.


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