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

Local News
3:59 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Phoenix Man's Prostate Cancer Found with New Imaging at Upstate Medical University

Doctors demonstrate New urology imaging at Upstate Medical University
Credit John Smith/WAER News

A Phoenix man who doctors say could have been walking around with Prostate Cancer for eight years has been diagnosed through a new breakthrough technology at Upstate Medical University.  The new $400,000 system is called 3-T MRI.  For several years, Patient Jeff Barclay received high PSA test readings and had numerous prostate biopsies.

Read more
Local News
8:26 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Baldwinsville Man Charged with DWI After Crashing into Teen Driver on Route 370

Credit Onondaga County Sheriff's Dept.

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office say a teen driver was injured last night in Lysander and now a Baldwinsville man has been charged with DWI.  The collision between two vehicles happened around 9 P-M last night on Route 370 near Hicks Road.  Investigators say Sean Scullion rear-ended a 2014 Chevy Cruze driven by 19 year-old Victoria Verzillo.  The girl suffered back and neck pain after her vehicle landed in a ditch.  Family members transported the girl to St. Joseph's Hospital.  Scullion's vehicle travelled another 30 yards before finally striking several bushes on the north side of the roadway and was uninjured.  He's also been charged with imprudent speed and was issued traffic tickets.  Scullion is due to appear in Town of Lysander Court on January 15th. 

Read more
Local News
4:43 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

SU Employee Travels to Lockerbie to Mark 25th Anniversary of the Bombing of Pan AM Flight 103

Roses remembering victims of Pan Am Flight 103
Credit SU Pan Am Flight 103 Lockerbie Air Disaster Archives

Believe it or not, on Saturday, it will be exactly 25 years since the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that took the lives of 270 people, including 35 Syracuse University students.  To mark the anniversary of the tragedy, an S-U employee decided to finally make her long-awaited trip all the way to Lockerbie, Scotland. The town lost 11 of its own residents in the tragedy. WAER’s Pete Sweeney reports. 

Listen to Pete Sweeney's report on the 25th Anniversary of Pan Am Flight 103.
Listen to Kelly Rodoski's interview from Lockerbie with WAER's John Smith.

Read more
STING OPERATION BY SYRACUSE POLICE AND OTHERS
3:30 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Seven Syracuse Corner Stores Raided for Willingness to Sell Purported Stolen Goods

Synthetic drug called "spike" discovered at one store and two registered hand guns.
Credit Syracuse Police / John Smith/WAER News

Nine people associated with seven corner stores in Syracuse are now in trouble after Syracuse Police uncovered they’re willing to buy purported stolen goods.  The sting operation involved a six month investigation as informants were sent into stores with products such as baby formula, razor blades, energy drinks and electronics.  Store clerks would buy the items, even though they were told the items were stolen.  A raid was carried out Thursday.  Police Chief Frank Fowler refers here to ”undercover informants” that helped to build a case against the stores.

Read more
COLD CASE BROKEN
2:11 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Georgia Man Arrested in Connection to 1985 Syracuse Murder

Ronald Meadow arrested in Georgia.
Credit Georgia authorities.

The Onondaga County District Attorney and the Syracuse Police Chief say a Georgia man has been arrested after evidence linked him to the death of his ex-wife in Syracuse dating back to 1985.  Colleen Meadow’s estranged husband, Ronald Meadow has been charged with second degree murder.  Meadow was found strangled to death in her Syracuse Apartment.  District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says a particular investigator was instrumental.

Read more

Pages