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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NYS UNVEILS NEW WINTER TOURISM PROMO CAMPAIGN
1:18 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

NYS Tourism Gets $4 Billion Dollar Boost from 'I Love NY' Campaign in 2013

The winter 'I Love New York' promo campaign will focus on the slopes and snowmobiling trails.
Credit 'I Love NY' website.

A lot more people visited New York State in 2013… even more in-state residents became tourists themselves; bringing in billions in extra tourism revenue.  Looking ahead in 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled this week the State intends to keep the momentum going.  The Governor says last year’s investment on tourism really paid off.

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Arts & Culture
1:43 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Gamers, Your Video Games are Considered Art !

A video game exhibit at the Everson Museum takes us back to the Atari 2600 days in the 80's !
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Taking a trip back to look at video game technology is a few clicks away at the Everson Museum in Syracuse.  A traveling exhibit is bringing back some old favorites.  WAER’s Resident Gamer, John Smith reports.

Listen to John Smith's story.

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Local News
11:03 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Local Registered Male Nurse Charged in Sexual Contact Case at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital

Golisano Children's Hospital at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
Credit Upstate Medical University

Syracuse Police have arrested a male registered nurse who worked at the Golisano Children’s Hospital and charged him with four counts of a criminal sex act with an underage patient.  They believe the sexual contact happened last fall.  24 year-old Joseph P. Carelli from Marcellus is also being charged with misdemeanors of 3rd degree sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

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SYRACUSE WOMAN A BIG PART OF FATHER'S LIFE AT 93
1:54 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Elderly Health Can Present Different Living Situations During the Holidays

Ira Mitchell (left) with his daughter Francine Berg, Music Director of Menorah Park in Syracuse.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Sometimes health changes in the elderly can present different living situations for families when the holidays arrive.  WAER’s John Smith introduces us to a daughter and father who tried to keep their holiday traditions this year... even across the miles.

Listen to John Smith's report.

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Local News
2:23 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Syracuse Police Arrest Bank Robbery Suspect

Syracuse Police released this photo of a bank robbery suspect.
Credit Syracuse Police

Syracuse Police have arrested a suspect they believe is connected to a recent bank robbery.  They say 20 year-old Nicholas Fiorini of Baldwinsville robbed the SEFCU Credit Union last week at 721 South Crouse Ave in the city.  Manlius Police have confirmed via bank surveillance photos that Fiorini is also the suspect in Monday’s M&T Bank robbery on Manlius Center Road.

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