Bob Beck

News Director

Phone: 307-766-6626

Bob Beck has been News Director of Wyoming Public Radio since 1988.  During his time as News Director WPR has won 94 national, regional and state news awards.  Bob has received the WEA School Bell Award for education reporting and was honored by the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving for his reporting.  He was also the voice of an Emmy award winning documentary on memory.  He has covered the Wyoming Legislature longer than any broadcaster in the state and is a frequent political guest and host on Wyoming PBS.   

Bob also taught broadcast news at the University of Wyoming for 20 years and his 1998 television reporting class won a regional Emmy for reporting excellence.  He also was twice given a Top Prof award by the UW Mortar Board.   Bob is also active in community events and co-chaired the 2009 Albany County United Way Campaign with his wife Debra. 

Prior to coming to WPR, Bob worked as a News and Sportscaster at stations in Wyoming and Illinois.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Radio-Television from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is a native of Wheaton, Illinois in suburban Chicago.  When he is not working he is running, mountain biking, doing CrossFit, walking his dog, or cheering on his beloved Packers, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs and Salukis.

Ways to Connect

State of Wyoming

A study from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services shows that while workplace fatalities have decreased overall, there has not been a significant trend in workplace deaths for almost 25 years.   

State Occupational Epidemiologist Meredith Towle said in 2014 nine oil and gas workers died on the job, while four died in 2015. She suspects that there is a simple reason for that decrease.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A new forecast shows that Wyoming revenues continue to fall. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, or CREG, says the State of Wyoming will be $150 million dollars short in the current two year budget.  

The state is facing unprecedented declines in the coal market, and oil and gas prices are half what they were two years ago. CREG says the shortfall would have been worse if the governor had not cut $250 million from the state budget this summer. But during a Monday news conference, Governor Matt Mead said he doesn’t want to make any more cuts. 

Pete Souza - Official White House Photo

Listen to the full show here.

Wyoming Lawmakers Worry About Last Minute Obama Regulations

With President Obama heading out of office soon Wyoming lawmakers fear he’s preparing a slew of executive orders that could hurt the economy out west. Matt Laslo has the story from Washington.

Wyoming voters will be asked to support a Constitutional Amendment this November that will change the way the state treasurer can manage Wyoming’s rainy day accounts and endowments.

Called Constitutional Amendment A, it will allow the state treasurer to invest that money in the equities market and the expectation is that it will help grow those funds.

Lawrence Struempf

Larry Struempf is hoping to shock the world. The Laramie Libertarian is hoping to win the nod to become Wyoming’s next congressman. Struempf is a Wyoming native who has worked in the field of computer information systems for many years. He is running on a platform of less government and more civil liberties.  He joins us to discuss some of the issues.

Bob Beck



The campaign season is heading into its last few weeks, and one of the bigger races in this state is the battle for Wyoming’s lone U.S. House Seat. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck has been keeping tabs on that race and was a panelist for Thursday night’s debate.

Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard asked him five questions about that race. 

Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney is the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. She is a former Fox News commentator, an author, the co-founder of the Alliance for a Strong America, a former U.S. State Department official and attorney.

Senator Mike Enzi (R)

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi will soon be entering his 20th year in the Senate. Enzi has had a long political career that began as Mayor of Gillette and included time in the Wyoming House and Senate. Enzi currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and is the former chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee among others.

Ryan Greene

Democrat Ryan Greene has an uphill battle. He is trying to become the first Democrat to serve Wyoming in Congress since the late Teno Roncalio left office in 1978. Greene needs to defeat the well funded Republican Liz Cheney. Greene says he’s not a liberal Democrat, more in line with former Governors Dave Freudenthal and Mike Sullivan. He joins me to discuss some issues, starting with energy.  

University of Wyoming

This week University of Wyoming officials proposed cutting 16 academic programs in order to meet a $15 million budget cut required for the next fiscal year. 

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols notes that they are also looking at consolidating some programs and so in total she says they are actually looking at 8 to 10 program eliminations. 

Bob Beck

Earlier this year the Wyoming legislature cut $36 million from money they provide to school districts. Since that time districts have been trying to get that money back and convince lawmakers that additional cuts would hurt their ability to adequately teach students.  

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming says it is considering the elimination of six bachelor’s degrees, eight master’s degrees, and two doctoral degrees as part of its mandated budget cuts. 

Bachelor’s degrees recommended for elimination are: American Studies, Russian, energy systems engineering, art education, modern language education, and technical education.  

September 16th, 2016

Sep 16, 2016
Amy Sisk

Listen to the full show here. 

Many Reasons, One Cause In Pipeline Protest

Opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline continues to grow beyond its North Dakota roots, with solidarity protests on September 13 in dozens of cities across the country and the world.

Department of Education

Over the last several weeks we’ve gotten lots of information concerning testing of students. Some were more positive than others. To get a full assessment of how students are doing we turn to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

Courtesy of the Wyoming State Archives

This week we have been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Wyoming Public Radio and in that time we’ve encountered some interesting characters, dignitaries, and just plain interesting folks. One person that qualified for all three of those categories was former Governor Ed Herschler. 

Wyoming Game and Fish

In the last week a bow hunter suffered numerous injuries after he was attacked by a bear. Game and Fish officials worry about such things at this time of year as more hunting seasons get underway. Tara Hodges from the Cody Game and Fish office explains that hunters need to be bear aware. 

Wyoming Public Radio celebrates its fiftieth anniversary Wednesday, September 14th 2016. Station News Director Bob Beck joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to reflect on his time at the station, the changes that have taken place, and what the future might hold.

Bob Beck

Many programs on the University of Wyoming campus are facing budget cuts, but there are those who believe that academics is suffering more than it should.

That’s especially when compared to athletics. In public forums several faculty and staff members say they want athletics de-emphasized at the University. The reason is because they think it costs a lot and is not priority. 

Arizona State University


School districts across the country are looking to reform how schools work. One of those places is in Teton County where the Jackson Hole Institute is looking at innovative ways to teach students.

Last week the institute invited Arizona State University President Doctor Michael Crow who is recognized as a leader in innovative education to speak to them. Dr. Crow told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that a couple of reforms could make a big difference.

Courtesy: University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has been working with a number of school districts across the state in an effort to change the way science is being taught in K-12 schools. Just this week ACT test scores show that Wyoming students still have a ways to go in being prepared to take college level science. With the roll out of the Next Generation Science Standards, UW has been working with districts to find new ways of teaching to those standards. 


A group called Fed Up is hoping to get the ear of the Federal Reserve this week. The Fed is holding its annual meeting in Jackson Hole and several of the central bank's officials have agreed to meet with members of the Fed Up campaign. 

The Federal Reserve is currently considering raising interest rates, but Fed Up Field Director Shawn Sebastian said it’s not the time.

A Laramie man has been arrested for the October 1985 murder of a Laramie woman. 

Sixty-seven-year-old Fredrick J. Lamb has been charged with first degree murder and first degree arson in the death of 22-year-old University of Wyoming student Shelli Wiley. 

Police at the time of the murder said that Wiley was stabbed 11 times, sexually assaulted, and that her West Laramie apartment was set on fire. Police did find a bloody hand print near the murder, but were unable to convict anyone. 

Wyoming Legislative Service Office

Tuesday night long time Sheridan County State Representative Rosie Berger not only lost her bid for re-election, but also her chance to be the Speaker of the House. 

Berger was defeated in the Republican primary by Bo Biteman, who painted her as anti-gun and was critical of her support of the state capital renovation project. The loss was shocking to Cheyenne Representative Dan Zwonitzer.

Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney clinched the Republican nomination for U.S. House, Ryan Greene won the Democratic nomination for the same seat, and upsets in state legislative races spell uncertainty for leadership positions in the next legislative session. Wyoming Public Radio's Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard speaks with News Director Bob Beck about Tuesday's state primary results.

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray says voting has gone smoothly across the state during today’s primary election. 

Murray said Tuesday that early voting for the primary was actually about 500 votes more than two years ago when the governor and all the top elected officials were on the ballot. He added that the races for U.S. House and some interesting local races in Cheyenne, Casper, and Gillette has turned out voters in those areas. But interest has been much lower in counties with few contested races.