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

Most Central New York moms will receive flowers, jewelry, or some other gift this weekend.  But for moms living in poverty with infants,  DIAPERS might be considered a welcome gift. 

The CNY Diaper Bank is aiming to collect 100,000 donated diapers during their third annual, month-long diaper drive through special events and collection efforts.  Founder and president Michela Hugo says they’re at least a quarter of the way there…but probably more…

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was known as a long time champion of women’s rights. That’s why leaders of women’s groups are still trying to make sense of the allegations that he was a serial domestic violence abuser. 

Just six months ago, Judy Harris Kluger, who runs an anti domestic violence agency, stood beside Schneiderman, where he announced an agreement with a Brooklyn hospital to longer bill sexual assault survivors for forensic rape examinations.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The city of Syracuse is starting to explore the feasibility of using the collective bargaining clout of its residents to negotiate a better rate with an energy supplier.  It’s called Community Choice Aggregation, or CCA, and common councilor Michael Greene called an introductory meeting Tuesday to discuss how it works.

Pat Bradley / WAMC

New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned from office, following allegations in the New Yorker that he was physically violent toward four women who have come forward with their stories.

In a statement, Schneiderman, 63, says he “strongly contest's the allegations, which he says have nothing to do with his professional life, but he says the charges will “will effectively prevent (him) from leading the office’s work at this critical time”.

twitter.com and WAER File Photo

The first fight over a late entry of a Democratic Congressional Candidate in the 24th District has been settled by the State Board of Elections.  Juanita Perez-Williams was granted approval to face-off against the Onondaga County Democratic Party’s endorsed candidate Dana Balter in June.  Perez-Williams says that she assessed things on the sideline before launching her campaign.

Governor Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a speech at the annual meeting of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where he offered remedies to fix the nation’s Democratic Party.

Cuomo railed against President Donald Trump and his administration, saying they are “anti-American” and opposed to everything that Dr. King preached about. But he said the Democratic Party got it wrong in 2016.

Scott Willis/WAER News

About a half-dozen Central New York companies are partnering with the American Red Cross to install more than 500 smoke alarms in Syracuse homes next month and educate families about fire safety.  It’s part of a larger effort under the Red Cross’ Sound the Alarm initiative to install 100,000 smoke alarms nationwide the first two weeks of May.  Senior Vice President at C&S Companies John Spina says they jumped at the chance to help financially and with volunteers.

books.google.com

What can Central New Yorkers learn about issues involving the environment?  Or economic development projects?  Author and Utica College Professor Brett Orzechowski will answer those questions Wednesday when he speaks at Syracuse University about his book, “FOIL: The law and the Future of Public Information.”  For 40 years, state residents have been using the Freedom of information Law to access government information.  Orzechowski says people can use this open data to shine light on governmental issues.

energy21symposium.org

Hundreds of people from across the state interested in the future of renewable energy will gather in East Syracuse on Friday for the 14th annual Symposium  on Energy in the 21st Century that comes during what organizers are calling an exciting time in the industry.  Symposium Director Rhea Jezer said they’ve always tried to be on the cutting edge.

“14 years ago, at our first Symposium, we actually had to bring a solar panel for people to look at, and they were amazed because no one knew what a solar panel looked like. We’ve come a long way since then,” said Jezer.

drugabuse.gov

Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon outlined her plans for legalizing marijuana in New York in a video, saying the state lags far behind some other states. Governor Cuomo says he’s studying the issue.

Nixon, who is challenging Cuomo in a Democratic primary, says New York should follow the lead of eight other states and end a “key front” in what she says is the  “racist” war on drugs.

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