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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Maya Angelou dies at 86
4:49 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou's Passing draws Respect and Remembrance from CNY Writers, Poets

Maya Angelou was an inspiration for many local writers, poets
Credit poetry.org

The passing of Poet and activist Maya Angelou was felt with sorrow and respect by writers here in Central New York. 

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UTILITY SAFETY
4:47 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

North Syracuse Elementary Students Learn Power and Gas Safety

National Grid employees Paul Wilson (left) and Mike Hargreaves (right) instruct students about the dangers of power lines and how to stay safe.
Credit John Smith, WAER News

A combination of stormy weather and spending more time outdoors this summer is a good refresher for what to do when encountering power lines on the ground in Central New York.  About 400 students at Allen Road Elementary in North Syracuse participated in workshops today with National Grid representatives.

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FIRST AID AND CPR
6:39 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

American Heart Association Pushes for CPR Training in Schools

Emily Adamczak died during a high school soccer practice from a sudden cardiac arrest
Credit American Heart Association

The American Heart Association of New York State is counting down the final days of the legislative session with 22 reasons the State Legislature should consider providing lifesaving training in schools.  They’re sharing daily stories of people who have been saved by CPR and others who weren’t as fortunate. 

One of those reasons is Emily Adamczak, who suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 14, during soccer practice in her freshman year of high school. 

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Local News
3:21 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Future Impacts of Biotechnology Discussed at SUNY ESF

A panel discussion during the Biotechnology Symposium at SUNY ESF.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Could the way we feel be caused by environmental factors in Central New York ? That was one of several topics mentioned today during the Biotechnology Symposium at SUNY ESF. Former President Doctor Neil Murphy says the World Health Organization has determined that 90 percent of all diseases are either initiated or aggravated by environmental factors. A local collaborative to use biotechnology to improve human health concerns has been developed through State funding from the Governor.

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Nascar Driver Supports Healthy Mouth Movement
2:47 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Danica Patrick Comes to Syracuse as a Matter of Dental Health

Danica Patrick (right) smiles as she's about to be introduced at SU. Congressmember Dan Maffei is to her left.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

It’s not every day that an award winning Nascar Driver rolls into Syracuse. However, Danica Patrick joined forces with Aspen Dental today at Syracuse University to offer free Dental Care with a mobile dentistry office that’s catering to Veterans who are in need of some dental care.

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