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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State of the State Address
9:09 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Business Perks, Education Proposals Highlight Gov Cuomo's 2014 Agenda

Gov Cuomo addresses lawmakers and others in Albany during his 3rd State of the State address Wednesday
Credit Karen Dewitt/WXXI News

  Upstate New York’s economy figured heavily into Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday.  

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MEDICAL MARIJUANA
11:21 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Syracuse Doctor Supports Controlled Medical Marijuana Program

Credit cannabisnews.org

A Syracuse Doctor initially skeptical of Governor Cuomo's medical marijuana plan is now embracing what appears to be a closely monitored, research-based model.  

Doctor Jeffrey Sneider is an internist at Brighton Medical Associates, and represents a 10 county region for the Medical Society of New York.  Sneider says he's still learning the details, but so far likes the limited scope of the program.  

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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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