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

  The shores of Onondaga Lake Park will be making serious waves this summer. The US Northeast Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championship (NEMA) will be held here in Syracuse. The county will be funding a new 7 lane 2,000 meters course.  The course will be located on the eastern shore of Onondaga Lake. Syracuse Chargers President Joe Bufano says it’s the first regatta here since 1993.

John Smith, WAER News

Syracuse’s 11th Annual Downtown Dining Weeks have produced mixed results for some of the participating restaurants. 

John Smith, WAER News

The Syracuse Police Department receives one of its most diverse groups of incoming officers. 

Courtesy of Delair-Tech

  

The newly proposed Federal Aviation Administration’s regulations for small commercial drones won’t significantly affect the mission of Central New York drone developers.  

John Smith / WAER News

There are thousands of beers on shelves and in bars and pubs across the world, but for the latest “on-tap” at the Empire Brewery in Syracuse, the owner says it could actually have some health benefits.  The main ingredient was imported from China in by chance partnership.    The first batch was sampled officially Tuesday morning, and contains brick tea produced by Jing-Way Fu Tea Company.  Vice President Luo Ping spoke through a translator.

John Smith / WAER News

Healthcare representatives and concerned members of the Syracuse and Onondaga County community joined a webcast today from New York City called State of HIV in Black America… the Intersection of Health, Education and Community in the Fight to END Aids.  Sometimes adults who grew up around substance abuse often become drug users themselves. That’s according to V-P of Aids United, Dr. Vignetta Charles.  She explains that makes getting a place to live and staying clean difficult.

Workforce Development Institute

Working parents in Onondaga County who send their children to daycare could be getting some relief. 

John Smith/WAER News

Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse has been accredited as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by DNV Healthcare in Buffalo.  It’s only one of two hospitals state-wide to receive the status.  Upstate has expanded its Stroke care with medical technology that allows for real-time brain images and a specialized suite used by neurosurgeons for more severe cases. Director Dr. Julius Jean Latorre says that strokes are complex; however, his team is ready.

John Smith/WAER News

Martin Luther King Day was time well spent for volunteers to give those less fortunate throughout Onondaga County the clothes they need and some food to eat.  The 15th Annual Day of caring was headquartered at Pensabene’s Casa Grand’e.  Event organizer and Syracuse Common Councilor Helen Hudson is thankful for the outpouring of community support, once again, and the fact that Doctor King’s message is reaching youth.

Sean Farrell

The overwhelming majority of businesses in the region plan to grow or maintain job levels in 2015, according to data presented on Thursday at Centerstate CEO's Economic Forecast Breakfast at the Oncenter.

About 93 percent of survey respondents plan to expand or keep employment numbers constant, Centerstate CEO's president Rob Simpson revealed at the conference.

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