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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CRIME AND SAFETY
6:21 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Burglar Alarm Legislation Delayed...Again

Syracuse City Hall

Unanswered questions and lack of support delayed a planned vote by Syracuse Common councilors Monday to impose a $30 annual fee on burglar alarm owners.  The measure has been discussed since March as a way to recover the cost of police responding to numerous false alarms.  

 

City officials say there were more than 9,800 alarms last year, and all but 14% were false.  The yearly assessment for the more than 13,000 households and businesses with alarms would raise about $360,000 dollars a year.  Business groups have been opposed to the measure from the beginning.  

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HOLIDAY TRAVEL
12:33 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Chittenango Man Stopped With Loaded Gun at Hancock Airport

The firearm detected in a carry-on bag by TSA officials at Hancock Airport Wednesday.
Credit Lisa Farbstein / TSA

A Madison County man made things a little more complicated for security officials at Syracuse's Hancock Airport Wednesday morning by trying to board a plane with a loaded handgun.  A Transportation Security Officer stopped the man after noticing the semi-automatic weapon in his carry on bag as it passed through the X-ray machine.  TSA contacted Syracuse Police, who confiscated the weapon.  Officials say there was no impact on airport operations during the busiest travel day of the year. 

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Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week
7:04 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Former Legislators Honored for Work with the Homeless

A soup stand was set up in front of City Hall, run by In My Father’s Kitchen
Credit Brett Samuels / WAER

Former Congressman James Walsh and former Common Councilor Teresa McCarthy-Brusa began doing work to help the homeless about 27 years ago. Wednesday afternoon, they both were recognized for their efforts in front of City Hall as part of Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

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Community Theater
7:07 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Redhouse LAB Theater Featured in Community Foundation Week

The LAB theater space at the Redhouse Arts Center
Credit John Smith and Kate Capodanno / WAER News

A local foundation and theater have come together  to improve access to the arts for up-and-coming performers and audiences.  The Central New York Community Foundation recently awarded the Redhouse a $25,000 grant to construct a "lab" theater space, which provides public performance space for educational programming.  The grant and planned uses for the theater were highlighted as part of Community Foundation Week.

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Local News
5:50 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Tech Garden Opens New "Power Up" Room

The new Power Up room at the Tech Garden
Credit John Smith / WAER

Central New York’s High Tech entrepreneurs have a new space to “power up” at the Tech Garden.   The new “Power Up” room, sponsored by the National Grid, includes workstations, whiteboard walls, and interchangeable murals and banners.   Regional Executive Melanie Littlejohn says the space is designed to attract start-ups to develop advancements in green and clean technology.

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