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.

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SYRACUSE MAYORAL RACE
11:43 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Add the Green Party to the Race for Syracuse Mayor

Green Party Candidate Kevin Bott announces his run for Syracuse Mayor.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Until now, the focus of the Syracuse mayoral race has been on the political posturing of Democrats and Republicans. 

That changed Wednesday when Green Party candidate Kevin Bott launched his campaign for mayor with promises to bring collaborative, democratic leadership to city hall.  In his remarks on the steps of city hall, Bott seemed to be making a not-so-subtle jab at incumbent Mayor Miner and democratic challenger Pat Hogan, who took second place in the primary.

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Syrian Conflict
3:31 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Protestors Say 'Don't Send Missiles to Syria, Instead Help the People'

Syracuse residents protest against any military strikes in Syria.
Credit Scott Willis/WAER News

About 20 members of the peace community gathered today in front of Syracuse’s federal building to oppose any military intervention in Syria.


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CANCER RESEARCH AND TREATMENT
6:45 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Congressman Dan Maffei Visits Upstate Cancer Center Construction Site

WAER’s John Smith speaks with Medical Director Leslie Kohman and Congressman Dan Maffei
Credit Darryl Geddes / Upstate University Medical Center

Construction on the Upstate Cancer Research Center at University Hospital in Syracuse is rapidly taking shape. 

The center will have a variety of medical services in a centralized location.  Many services are already being offered, like a specialized psychologist, who works to help the emotional and psychological needs that cancer patients and families deal with, and an integrated medicine specialist, who advises patients on non-traditional therapies they may wish to add to their traditional treatment methods. 

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MARCH ON WASHINGTON
8:31 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Syracuse Common Council President Reflects on Missing the First March on Washington

Syracuse Common Council President Van Robinson

Syracuse Common Council President Van Robinson was 25 years old when he and some friends decided to head from New York City to Washington D.C. for the March on Washington in 1963. 

They didn't quite make it.  He did make it to the 25th Anniversary in 1988, and is in Washington for the 50th Anniversary of that historic day. 

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PRESIDENT OBAMA IN CENTRAL NEW YORK
7:10 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Auburn Disappointed after President Obama Skips Tubman Home

Supporters of the Harriet Tubman Historic home hope President Obama stops by. They were left disappointed.
Credit Maria Catanzarite/WAER News

President Obama continued his bus tour of Upstate New York today after spending the night in Auburn.  He spent the morning working out at the YMCA and shooting a few hoops with a youth basketball group before hitting the road for SUNY Binghamton. 


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