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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CRIMINAL JUSTICE
6:17 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Killer Freed; Victim's Family and Transgender Community Fear for Their Safety

Attorney and Transgender Alliance Founder Mallory Livingston, LaTeisha Green's mother Roxanne, and father Albert Cannon.
Credit Scott Willis, WAER News

The transgender community in Syracuse fears for its safety now that the killer of a young trans-woman is free. 

Green’s mother Roxanne says she has little faith in the legal system, after the Appellate Court in Rochester released Dwight DeLee on probation last week.

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SYRACUSE MAYORAL ELECTION
6:26 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

State Legislators Endorse Mayor Stephanie Miner for Re-election

Mayor Stephanie Miner discusses workforce training programs
Credit Miner for Mayor

Syracuse’s Democratic state lawmakers say Mayor Stephanie Miner has been a tireless advocate of Syracuse and a close partner in government. 


Assemblymembers Bill Magnarelli and Sam Roberts, plus Senator Dave Valesky endorsed Miner’s campaign for re-election today in front of H.W. Smith school.  The building is the last to be renovated under phase one of the massive Joint Schools Construction Project.  Bill Magnarelli says Miner made sure legislation for phase two made it through the legislature:

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RAILROAD SAFETY
11:47 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Sen. Chuck Schumer Says "Flawed" Railcars Pose Danger to Syracuse and Upstate

Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a news conference in Armory Square with the railroad in the background that carries hundreds of tankers every day. Also with him are Onondaga County Dept. of Emergency Management Commissioner Kevin Wisely and Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Credit Maria Catanzarite, WAER News

Senator Chuck Schumer stopped by Syracuse Tuesday to call on the Federal Transportation Department to propose a fix for flawed rail cars called the DOT 111. 

He says the hundreds of cars that travel through the center of Syracuse every day are the same ones that derailed in Quebec a few weeks ago, killing dozens and wiping out a small town.  

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STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT
10:56 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Syracuse Common Councilors Explore Consolidating Vehicle Repair, Maintenance

Councilors Jake Barrett, Helen Hudson, and President Van Robinson listen to Deputy Syracuse Fire Chief David Reeves.
Credit Maria Catanzarite, WAER News


The Syracuse Common Council is contemplating merging city vehicle maintenance and repairs under one roof. Councilors met with city department heads Monday morning.



With more than one-thousand City-owned vehicles on the streets, Council Committee members think one building will be enough to service all five departments. Councilor Helen Hudson says cutting costs is the main reason behind the proposal.

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SYRACUSE MAYORAL RACE
6:53 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Syracuse Mayoral Cadidate Pat Hogan Unveils Equal Rights Plan

Credit Chris Bolt, WAER News

Syracuse mayoral candidate Pat Hogan further expanded his campaign platform Monday by releasing his Equal Rights Plan.


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