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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GOVERNMENT REFORM
3:47 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Syracuse Roofing Contractor Calls Outdated Scaffold Law "Golden Goose" for Trial Lawyers

Credit Capitalbusinessblog.bcnys.org

Central New York contractors and business advocacy groups are hoping the approaching new year finally brings reform to a nearly 130-year-old liability law.     "The scaffold law is such an indicator of what we refer to as the old New York."

Brian Sampson is with the pro-taxpayer and economic growth group Unshackle Upstate…

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Community
6:43 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Savlation Army Just About Ready for Christmas Bureau Distribution at OnCenter

Toys are unpacked at the Salvation Army's Christmas Bureau at the OnCenter.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

Preparations are well underway at the OnCenter for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau distribution on Monday.   Friday, a forklift operator unloaded a Wegmans truck filled with 19-thousand pounds of non-perishable goods including canned vegetables and fruit, juice, sauces, coffee, cocoa,  and tea.  That includes 27-hundred bags of potatoes, which Salvation Army Marketing Manager Greg Meitus says wasn’t expected.  

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EXTENDED INTERVIEW
4:55 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Pat Hogan Reflects on Run For Mayor, Time on Council

Outgoing Syracuse Common Councilor Pat Hogan

This week’s Syracuse Common Council Meeting marked the last for second district councilor Pat Hogan.  He’s represented parts of the city’s north and west sides for eight years, and term limits kept him from running again. But Hogan DID run for mayor, ultimately conceding he couldn’t win against a well-funded, party backed incumbent.   

Pat Hogan’s final term representing the Syracuse Common Council’s Second District ends December 31st.  He’ll be succeeded by Chad Ryan.  

 

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ANIMAL CRUELTY
6:52 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

NY Attorney General Targets "Dog Flippers"

Four-year-old Sasha is up for adoption at the CNYSPCA.
Credit Scott Willis / WAER News

A Central New York woman has been barred from selling dogs after the attorney general’s office found she violated numerous state laws.  AG Eric Schneiderman stopped by the CNYSPCA Friday.  

  He explained how Carissa Seaman of Cleveland came to their attention.

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HATE CRIME
6:19 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

New York's Highest Court Agrees to Hear Appeal in Syracuse Transgender Murder Case

The late Lateisha Green
Credit transgenderlegal.org

New York State’s highest court has agreed to look at an appeal of a lower court ruling that freed a Syracuse man convicted of the state’s first hate crime.  Back in July, the State Supreme Court’s 4th Appellate Division tossed out the conviction of Dwight DeLee in the 2008 murder of transgender woman Lateisha Green on a technicality.  

Michael Silverman is Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City, and has worked with the Green family for the past five years.

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