Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways To Connect

Scott Willis, WAER News

 Syracuse’s roughly 350 firefighters have been awarded a contract, though it’s the result of two years of acrimonious negotiations that ended up in court.  

Tourism Officials Welcome NCAA Tournament Basketball Fans

Mar 25, 2015
Scott Willis / WAER News

  College basketball fans from all over the country will be coming to Syracuse this weekend for the next two rounds of the NCAA men’s division one tournament.  The east regional sweet sixteen and elite eight will be played at the Carrier Dome.  A local organizing committee has been preparing for the event since last fall. vice president of sales and services for visit Syracuse Tracey Burke says the organization has been working to make sure visitors feel welcome.

http://www.syrgov.net/Dept_of_Public_Works.aspx / City of Syracuse Department of Public Works

  The city of Syracuse is changing its yard waste schedule pick up to give residents an extra week to make that initial spring clean up and set out their brush and leaves. Department of Public Works Commissioner Pete O'Connor says it'll make the process more reliable for residents and help his crews keep on schedule. The new schedule begins with the northeast quadrant on April 4 and April 5.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County residents are being asked to engage in a community conversation about the future of local governments.  A commission on government modernization called Consensus is holding the next in a series of presentations Tuesday, March 24th in DeWitt.  Onondaga County is the first in the state to undertake a baseline review of government structure, their costs, and the nature and extent of services provided to residents.  

Chair of public engagement with Consensus Melanie Littlejohn knows the concept is not new, but the report is intended to continue the conversation. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

They're from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and  Macedonia.  Also, Germany, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.  Even Bolivia, South Korea and here in the U.S.  

  Nine student panelists from around the world spoke Wednesday at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School in commemoration of 20th anniversary of the United Nations Fourth  world conference on women. The panelists shared their personal stories of injustices faced as women in their own countries.

Scott Willis / WAER News

About a dozen projects in eight Onondaga County towns and villages hang in the balance after the Department of Housing and Urban Development abruptly changed income eligibility requirements.    Senator Chuck Schumer says HUD rescinded about half a million dollars in community development block grants.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A congressional delegation representing three key military installations across central and northern New York stopped by Hancock Air Base to make the case against potentially deep defense department budget cuts.  

  Freshman Republican Elise Stefanik represents Fort drum in the 21st district.  She says if the federal sequester budget is allowed to continue, it could have an impact on troop training…and consequences on military readiness.

ongov.net

Central New Yorkers who visit the state fairgrounds for any number events year-round or just the 12-day fair probably have ideas of how $50 million  in state money might be used to re-imagine the venue.    Many have probably seen or at least heard of the plan presented by County Executive Joanie Mahoney at her state of the county address to make the fairgrounds a more modern, vibrant, year-round attraction.  Acting fair director Troy Waffner says it’s still just conceptual.

  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.

National Police Car Archives

The Syracuse Police Department is about to order 45 new police vehicles to upgrade its aging and run-down fleet.  Common councilors unanimously approved the $1.6 million in spending, but not without some discussion about the number of cars that go home with officers on a routine basis.  

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