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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HIGHER EDUCATION
12:34 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Cornell University President to Head Smithsonian Institution

Cornell University President David Skorton
Credit Cornell University

The leader of one of the nation's most prestigious universities will depart next year to head the world's largest museum and research complex.  David Skorton will be relocating to Washington D.C. in July 2015 to lead the Smithsonian Institution.  His appointment was approved by a vote of the Smithsonian Board of Regents on March 9.   In a news release, Chair of Cornell's Board of Trustees Robert Harrison has nothing but praise for Skorton:

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SPECIAL EFFECTS COMPANY
6:38 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Film Production Company to Build New Facility in DeWitt

Director Ihor Podolchak shoots a scene in the film Delirium in 2008
Credit Tamara podolchak (Own work) / Wikimedia Commons

Students working on a degree in television or film in Central New York will soon have access to unprecedented technology and training opportunities. This week, Governor Cuomo announced the formation of the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries, which should create at least 350 new high-tech jobs and 150 construction jobs in our area.The facility in DeWitt will provide a cutting-edge visual production technology and research center that will specialize in providing advanced visual production to the area's growing film and television industry. will rent space to startups.

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AIRPORT CHANGES OWNERSHIP
3:19 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Syracuse's Hancock Airport Lands Safely With Regional Authority

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner hands over the certificate of operation to Airport Authority Board Chair Bill Fisher. Authority Executive Director Chris Callahan and board member Mark Nicotra look on.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

It's finally official.  Nearly 6 years of work culminated Monday in the transfer of day-to-day operations of Syracuse's Hancock Airport from the City of Syracuse to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.  

Hancock was the last major airport in the state to make the switch.  Mayor Stephanie Miner says it will allow the airport to realize its full potential.  

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GREEN BUILDINGS
6:48 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Destiny USA Celebrates LEED Gold Anniversary

A poster shows which tenants at Destiny USA have taken steps to become LEED Certified
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Destiny USA marked its second full year of LEED Gold certification Thursday by recognizing 44 store owners for also being energy efficient. The award for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” or LEED, is given to tenants that meet the sustainability requirements.  Puma took top honors for going LEED Platinum.

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BUSINESS EXPANDS
6:27 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Dot Foods in Liverpool Continues Growth Trend

An electric forklift hard at work at the Dot Foods warehouse in Liverpool
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Central New Yorkers may have seen Dot Foods trucks around the area, but always wondered: just what is Dot Foods? The Syracuse-area branch of the nation’s largest food re-distributor continues to grow, along with the rest of the company.  WAER’s Scott Willis recently took a tour of  their Liverpool facility to find out what they do and what makes them so successful:

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