Wyoming Public Radio is a commercial free station licensed to the University of Wyoming.
WPR broadcasts to over 90% Wyoming, including the communities of Laramie, Casper, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, Green River, Evanston, Jackson, Lander, Riverton, Cody, Powell, Dubois, Gillette, Sheridan, Newcastle, and Torrington, plus numerous communities in between.
Our programming is primarily news, classical music, and contemporary music. We also air jazz, folk, bluegrass, and unique entertainment programs. Wyoming Public Radio is the state's only member of National Public Radio and an affiliate of Public Radio International and American Public Media. NPR, APM, and PRI are sources of such favorites as A Prairie Home Companion, The Thistle & Shamrock®, Morning Edition®, All Things Considered®, and Car Talk®.
Wyoming Public Radio is an outreach service of the University of Wyoming, and the primary service of Wyoming Public Media (WPM). WPM is one of the four Divisions within UW's Outreach School. WPM also administers the "Classical Wyoming" network; "Jazz Wyoming;" internet streams of all three channels; and this WPR website and its services.
WPR Wyoming Productions
The National Award Winning Open Spaces: WPR's weekly one hour Wyoming magazine features the people, the issues, and events in the news in the Cowboy State, Fridays at 3 p.m.
Morning Music with Grady Kirkpatrick and Co-Host Paul Montoya: Every weekday morning from 9 a.m. to Noon, Grady and Paul explore contemporary music anchored in today's best singer-songwriters and musicians with nods to the world, folk and R&B.
Ranch Breakfast with Tom Wilhelm: The legendary bluegrass and folk show is one of Wyoming's longest running shows of any kind. Every Saturday from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m.
In addition, the WPR news team produces Wyoming newscasts within Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition, plus major feature stories within Morning Edition. These are often picked up by NPR and other networks for national broadcast.
WPM Mission Statement:
Wyoming Public Media connects Wyoming through news and cultural programming that informs, inspires, and educates.
- WPM encourages listeners to be lifelong learners.
- WPM fosters participation in the development of communities, the nation, and the world.
- WPM reflects the Wyoming and American cultural heritage.
There is hopeful news about federal funding. On February 13, the President submitted his FY 2013 $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress. It contained a request for full funding – $445 million – for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)’s FY 2015 two-year advance appropriation.
For over 30 years, CPB has received two-year advance appropriations, a practice we believe to be essential for stations’ continued autonomy in program decision-making and certainty in business planning. To date, CPB has retained level funding at $445 million for FY 2012, 2013, 2014, and now 2015 in the President’s proposed budget.
People often ask: What does a cut in federal funding mean to Wyoming Public media? Any cut in Wyoming Public Media’s federal funding is a blow. We currently receive a yearly $280,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help fund our services. This comprises approximately 12% of our operating budget and provides funding for programming and services to the community as mandated by our license. This funding is critical to our operation, particularly now when a major federal grant program supporting equipment maintenance/replacement was eliminated. The PTFP (Public Telecommunications Facilities Program) helped finance the build out of public radio throughout all states and reaching Americans in the remotest areas. We counted on this grant program to provide matching funds for our equipment needs such as future tower replacements.
This has been a difficult year for federal funding for public broadcasting as well as for other non-profits. Our legislators are in deficit-cutting mode and understandably so, considering the nation’s overall deficit. At times like these, calls for elimination of federal funding to public broadcasting makes for an easy and high-profiled target for politicians.
We at Wyoming Public Media understand the need for shared sacrifice for the greater good of the nation, but we do urge our legislators to consider funding to public broadcasting judiciously and proportionately. A 12% cut to WPM is serious and affects services critical to the state. Total elimination of the $445 million investment to CPB would cripple the public broadcasting system millions of Americans depend on. Would it provide a powerful solution to the nation’s deficit problem? That is for every American to decide. Here are the numbers: total elimination of the $445 million investment in CPB represents a 3 ten-thousands of one percent reduction in the $1.5 trillion federal budget deficit.
In an interview last year Colin Powell said “You can’t fix the deficit or the national debt by killing NPR or National Endowment for the Humanities or the Arts. Nice political chatter, but that doesn’t do it.”
It’s our fiduciary responsibility to inform and update you on the status of federal funding, and to provide information about how to contact your Congressional representative to express your views.
Why Federal Funding to Public Broadcasting is Important
Public Radio Facts
Local public radio stations are licensed by colleges and universities, community foundations, and other non-profit organizations. Their mission is to provide educational content through the use of media, and to create an informed citizenry through programs that highlight local issues, state legislatures, and national issues. Public radio’s mandate is to remain non-partisan.
Part of the funding for these stations comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Each year, the federal government appropriates funds to CPB through the Labor Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. CPB distributes these funds through Community Service Grants (CSGs) directly to public broadcasting stations.
93% of the U.S. population is within the reach of a public radio station’s broadcast signal.
Each station is independently owned and operated and tailors its programming to best serve its community.
More than 38 million people listen to public radio stations each week.
There are 414 stations in 47 states and territories (including Guam and Puerto Rico) that specifically serve rural and minority communities; the latter includes numerous African-American, Native American, Latino, and multicultural licensees. In many cases, they are the sole local broadcasting service available. These stations receive significantly higher funding from CPB—in some cases, as much as two-thirds of their budgets—since many of their listeners simply don’t have the financial resources to provide support.
Station Vision and Strategic Planning
Our vision is to connect Wyoming through a robust and sustainable “hub-and-spokes” reporting structure.
- Based in Laramie/Cheyenne, we would build out our existing news operation with additional reporters in areas such as Jackson, Casper, Gillette, Sheridan, and other locations. Reporters would live and maintain reportorial beats in these areas; their reports would air on Wyoming Public Radio, online, and nationally where applicable. They would cover state news as well as public and cultural affairs. The “hub-and-spokes” structure has been very successful in several states and regions, and it will provide WPM with content from which to build Wyoming-centric multi-platform programming.
Technology Delivery and Digital Excellence
Our vision is to reach all Wyoming residents through a variety of platforms.
- Radio equipment WPM installed in the 1980’s to produce FM broadcast signal is nearing its useful life in many locations. Most critical is the I-80 Corridor, where transmitters in Laramie and Rock Springs are particularly vulnerable. WPM will be seeking state funds (through a UW block grant) for a technology upgrade in all areas of the state. However, we need to move on the I-80 Corridor immediately if we are to replace these transmitters in timely manner.
- On the digital technology front, we realize that more and more listeners are accessing WPM services through means other than radio. WPM is investing in new technologies as they become available to us at reasonable cost.
Our vision is to support our strong radio network and fund our dreams!
WPM’s funding comes from state and federal sources, businesses, and individuals. State allocations are mostly fixed, and federal allocations fluctuate. Business support is strong, but often tied to the economy. Our most reliable source of support is listeners – people who believe in public radio and donate according to their means.
Our budget supports current needs, but not our dreams, like the State Bureau and Technology Delivery and Digital Excellence. We plan to keep operating costs level, increase individual and business revenues, and use state and federal funding strategically for big-ticket items like towers. This multi-year plan will build a healthy and diversified funding portfolio for WPM’s future.