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

Republicans are seeking political advantage in the federal corruption trial of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s former closest aide.  One of the governor’s opponents is pressuring Cuomo to answer some of the revelations in the trial about how state business was conducted, and whether a pay to play “atmosphere” was created.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader and Republican candidate for Governor John DeFrancisco stood outside the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan on a windy winter day.

Scott Suchman / lizzieklemperer.com

Central New York native Lizzie Klemperer is embracing her return to Syracuse for her latest show.  She will be performing at Symphoria’s concert called A Night at the Oscars on Saturday.

I've been trying to get back to Syracuse to do a concert with Symphoria for several years now.  This is the first time it worked out with scheduling.  The concert is really exciting...it's an Oscar-themed concert, everyone will be dressed up.  I hear there’s going to be a red carpet.”          

ischool.syr.edu

The city of Syracuse is turning to tech-savvy residents for new ways to make snow clearing more efficient with GPS-tracked plows.  Syracuse is partnering with Syracuse University's iSchool and AT&T to launch the “Plowing Through the Data” Hack-A-Thon, an initiative to publicize data on the routes plows take throughout the city.  The city’s Chief Data Officer Sam Edelstein says the data will allow residents to offer new ways to tackle street clearing.

Scott Willis / WAER

Current and former Syracuse University graduate students have formed a new tenant association in an effort to address what they say is a pattern of unsafe living conditions at dozens of properties operated by Syracuse Quality Living. Many of the students have been bounced from apartment to apartment, only to find conditions worse than before while paying sharply higher rent. Phalande Jean, Benesemon Simmons, Susima Weerakoon, and Eli Gebler shared their experiences.

Chris Bolt / WAER News

Central New York is preparing for some significant snowfall Wednesday, and the City of Syracuse is asking those who live and work in the city to do their part to keep roads and sidewalks clear.  About 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected to fall between late Wednesday morning into the evening.  Director of Operations Corey Driscoll Dunham says the plows need space to do their work.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

A Republican candidate for governor is calling for hearings on controversial tourism signs on the New York State Thruway and other highways set up by the Cuomo Administration. The federal government says the signs are illegal and will withhold federal funds if they are not removed.

provided photo / SU News

A Syracuse University alumnus and U.S. Navy veteran is donating $20 million to support the construction of the National Veterans Resource Center on campus.  Site preparation is underway on the $62.5 million  project.

Lileana Pearson / WAER News

Several hundred people are expected to turn out Monday evening for an event aimed at bringing together people of many faiths.  WAER News caught up with one of the coordinators of the eighth annual World InterFaith Harmony Assembly being held in DeWitt.  

Interfaith Works of Central New York and Women Transcending Boundaries is bringing you an evening of culture though food and conversation.  Betty Lamb is the past President of Women Transcending Boundaries and said bring people of all backgrounds together is a way to help unify the community.

Melissa Osgood / Cornell University

A bald eagle and hawk are recovering after Cornell University wildlife experts say they suffered acute poisoning.  Both were found lethargic and unable to fly, and both are classified by the DEC as threatened in New York State.  Despite the uncertain outlook when they were picked up, both raptors made unexpected recoveries.  Here are their stories, as provided by Cornell media relations:

THE EAGLE

file photo / WAER News

Syracuse-area Congressmember John Katko says he favors the release of the controversial classified memo that alleges the department of justice and the FBI abused their surveillance powers ahead of President Trump’s election.  It could be released later Friday pending Trump’s approval.  Katko says it should come out sooner than later as special prosecutor Robert Mueller continues his investigation.

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