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

Local business leadership organization, Centerstate CEO, wants the community to work together and ask more questions before settling on a solution for the new I-81 viaduct through Syracuse. Centerstate C-E-O is laying out principles and priorities for the one-billion dollar decision that will impact the area for the next 75 years or more.

John Smith / WAER News

The Onondaga County Republican Party conceded it won’t have a candidate for Syracuse Mayor in November.  Chairman Tom Dadey called a press conference to end speculation whether or not a candidate would emerge.  Dadey compared politics to baseball, and promises there will always be another season of politics.

Pat Hogan has decided to end his run for Syracuse Mayor.  The move comes less than a week after he took second place in a three-way democratic primary against incumbent Stephanie Miner and Alfonso Davis. 

Hogan's decision also means he won't be running on the Republican ticket.  Here's the statement he released today:

kent syverud
Micaela Mueller / WAER

On Thursday morning, the Syracuse University Board of Trustees announced that the search for Syracuse University's 12th Chancellor and President had come to a close. Kent Syverud is currently Dean of the School of Law at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri.

In a Q & A session with reporters, Syverud thanked members of the community and spoke about how excited he was to be returning to the Syracuse area for his new role.

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.

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.

Dan Maffei and Leslie Kohman
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. 

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. 

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. 

Andrew Courtney / Two-Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

The paddlers have returned home, unpacked, rested, and are now processing the past few weeks of a historic canoe trip, aimed at renewing the promise of a 400-year-old treaty.  It all began in early July, on Onondaga Nation Lands on Onondaga Creek, and ended about a week ago in New York City.  Native peoples and non-Natives formed two lines representing the Two-Row Wampum, with hopes of educating people along their journey about the treaty that once bound the two peoples and bringing new focus to the importance of environmental cleanup and preservation.