Bob Beck

News Director

Phone: 307-766-6626
Email: btwo@uwyo.edu 

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

Bob Beck, Wyoming Public Radio

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols said that planned budget reductions for this fiscal year may fall short of goals. So, she told the UW trustees Wednesday to plan for $15 million dollars in budget cuts in the next fiscal year.

They had hoped to only cut $10 million, but UW has not yet realized forecast savings in early retirements or by increased teaching loads. The University is currently looking at cutting a variety of academic and non-academic programs after being...

An African American woman was injured in what she said was a racially motivated attack in Laramie early Sunday morning. The victim is a former Laramie resident who posted on her Facebook page that she and two other African Americans were returning from a night at Laramie’s Jubilee Days when they were approached by a small group who shouted racial slurs at the victim's group and threatened to kill them. Police said Monday that one woman, 21-year-old Sidney P. King of Laramie, stabbed the...

Bob Beck, Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming’s Title 25 program is $13 million dollars over budget and a group of legislators and others were told this week that reforms and policy changes are needed to slow down that spending. Title 25 covers court ordered hospitalizations for mental health and substance abuse patients. The state hospital doesn’t have enough beds to house those who need services, so the state has to pay private providers for that care. Natrona, Fremont, and Sweetwater County are driving the costs. A special...

STEPHANIE JOYCE / WYOMING PUBLIC RADIO

Listen to the full show here. From Housekeepers To Railroad Conductors, Coal's Crash Takes Its Toll The coal industry’s recent downturn is casting ripples throughout the economy in the West. In Wyoming, the unemployment rate is climbing faster than any other state in the country—and it’s not just miners who are struggling. From a hotel in Gillette, Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce explores the fallout from the collapsing mineral economy. Wyoming's Wage Gap...

Wyoming Education Association

Educators from across the country are meeting in Washington D.C. this week for the annual National Education conference. Kathy Vetter is the Wyoming Education Association President. While some states still struggle with funding, others have restored education money to pre-2008 levels. That’s not the case in Wyoming, where a downturn in the energy economy has led to cuts in education funding for the first time in many years. Vetter told Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that the cuts came faster...

Bob Beck, Wyoming Public Radio

Due to declining revenues the Wyoming Department of Health has been told to cut $90 million from its budget, that’s a nine percent reduction, the largest cut faced by any state agency. It will impact the two year budget that begins July first. Director Tom Forslund said the loss of state funds also means the Department will lose an additional $43 million in federal matching money. Had the legislature voted to expand Medicaid it would have softened the blow, especially since the Department...

Bob Beck

Due to declining state revenues, Governor Matt Mead announced that he is cutting the state budget by $248 million. The Wyoming Department of Health is being asked to cut its budget by $90 million for the next two years, which Mead said will lead to a loss of 677 private sector jobs. The University of Wyoming will cut $35 million, community colleges $20 million and the Department of Corrections $17 million. Mead told the Joint Appropriations Committee Tuesday that he had no choice. “If the...

M&R Glasgow, Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to the full show here. Wyoming Lawmakers Oppose New Gun Measures In Wake Of Orlando In the wake of the tragic slayings in Orlando last weekend, gun-control unexpectedly dominated Congress this week. Matt Laslo reports from Washington on why Wyoming lawmakers think the debate is misguided. Wyoming's Legislative Races Will Be Among The Most Competitive In The Nation While many Wyoming voters are paying attention to the U.S. House race, the state’s...

Bob Beck

Getting people to run for the legislature can be a challenge, but this year Wyoming has had no problem attracting candidates. In 2014 Democrats made a strong push to get more people to run and they came up with 32 candidates. This year the number is 64. Even Republicans have more candidates running than two years ago. Jason Swadley of Ballotpedia studies elections. “In all of the areas where we look at competitiveness, this year Wyoming is actually much more competitive than the U.S. average....

Donning

In 1914 John Woody started a Wyoming phone company that is now known as Union Wireless. These days it’s a multi-million dollar corporation and one of the state’s great success stories. Author Terry Del Bene has written a book about the company called A Phone Where The Buffalo Roamed . He explains why this phone company survived for over 100 years while others have faltered.

University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming Trustees passed a resolution supporting President Laurie Nichols’ efforts to cut $41 million dollars from the UW budget due to falling energy revenues. UW will eliminate 70 vacant positions and require faculty to increase their teaching load to help meet the shortfall. Faculty have expressed concern that more teaching will take away from their ability to conduct research. Nichols said that comes with the territory. “We are expecting a little less research or outreach...

Charles Preston

Listen to the full show here. Park Officials Are Concerned About Risky Behavior In Yellowstone An Oregon man is killed when he slips into a hot springs hundreds of yard off the boardwalk in Norris Geyser Basin. A Canadian tourist is fined $735 for picking up a bison calf that had to be euthanized. Another group of Canadians faces criminal charges for filming themselves walking on Grand Prismatic Spring. Penny Preston went to Yellowstone to find out...

Ryan Greene

Wyoming Democratic U.S. House Candidate Ryan Greene is a Rock Springs native who brings an interesting background to the race. Greene works in the energy industry. Greene is one of two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to become Wyoming’s next congressman. He says he got into the race to help the energy industry recover and to create jobs. Greene tells Bob Beck that you do that diversifying both within and outside the energy industry.

Award Winning Poet Discusses Her New Book

Jun 10, 2016
sastrugipress.com

Laramie Poet Lori Howe has a new book coming out called Voices at Twilight . It’s a book of poems, photographs, and historic essays about the ghost towns of Wyoming’s southern corridor. She joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck and reads excerpts from that book. Lori Howe will be on tour this month as a Think Wyoming, Wyoming Humanities Council roads scholar teaching free creative writing workshops on the subject of Water in Wyoming. Information can be found on the Humanities Council...

Wyoming Medical Center Facebook

The Wyoming Medical Center in Casper has cut 58 positions to meet budget reductions due to a downturn in the local economy. The hospital says they also don’t plan to fill 57 vacancies. Medical Center CEO Vicki Diamond said the reductions will save the organization over $7 million dollars, but cuts will not harm medical services. For example, no nurses were reduced. Chief Financial Officer Yvonne Wiggington said fewer people have insurance and that has led to a rise in charity care and bad...

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Although Bernie Sanders won the Wyoming Democratic caucus with 56 percent of the vote, he received the same number of delegates that Hillary Clinton did. Sanders supporters are hoping to change that. Sanders supporter and Democratic National Committeeman elect Jon Gardzelewski said state delegates supporting Sanders have filed a formal petition with the Democratic National Committee challenging the apportionment of Wyoming delegates to the national convention. Both Sanders and Clinton have...

Tim Stubson

A candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives has unveiled a plan to help Wyoming’s struggling energy industry—and to give back power to states. Republican Tim Stubson calls his plan “winning back the west.” His biggest effort is to use legislation and the power of the purse to remove what he considers burdensome rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. “To defund the clean power plan, to defund enforcement of the waters of the United States, these unconstitutional measures...

Bob Beck

Due to a massive drop in projected revenues, the Governor is trying to cut spending for the next two-year budget cycle by eight percent. He said he is trying to cut spending levels back to where they were ten years ago. The University of Wyoming has already started working on a cut of near 40 million dollars and the largest cut will likely come from the Wyoming Department of Health. Tom Forslund is the Director of the Department and Bob Beck met with him in Cheyenne to discuss what that kind...

Budget Cuts Before Taxes

May 23, 2016
Bob Beck

Wyoming’s revenue picture is dire. Thanks to declining energy and sales tax revenue Governor Mead has already started cutting nearly 300 million dollars from the two-year budget that was approved by the legislature in March. A week ago Mead told the University of Wyoming that it would have to cut 35 million dollars from its upcoming budget. The reason is state revenues are down 100 million dollars from where they thought they would be. Mead will be demanding similar cuts from across state...

Wyoming Fire Danger Is Low

May 23, 2016
U.S. Forest Service

This week federal officials said that a dry spring has them concerned that there could be a serious summer fire season in the western United States. Of course, few of us in Wyoming understand what a dry spring looks like. Bill Crapser is Wyoming’s state forester. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Melodie Edwards

Listen to the full show here. An Uneven Exchange: Coal Miners Versus Coal Consumers Budget Cuts Before Taxes Health Department Braces For Serious Budget Cuts U.S. Fish and Wildlife Cease Dell Creek Wolf Pack Kill Wyoming Fire Danger Is Low Transgender Laramie Teen Running For School Board Amid School Policy Debate Albany County School District was on its way to becoming the first in Wyoming to pass a policy protecting...

Bob Beck of Wyoming Public Radio

To save money, the Wyoming legislature may meet only 37 out of 40 possible days next year and will make other reductions in travel, staffing, and purchases. Due to a downturn in expected revenues, the legislature’s management council voted to reduce the legislature’s upcoming two-year budget by 12 percent. The governor is working with all state agencies and the University of Wyoming to reduce their budgets by an average of eight percent. Speaker of the House Kermit Brown said the upcoming...

May 13th, 2016

May 13, 2016
Gage Skidmore

Listen to the full show here. Debate Continues In Jackson Over Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Speaker Last month, a guest speaker was invited to promote abstinence until marriage in Teton County classrooms, but it was called off after some parents complained. Then, others objected to the cancellation . Weeks later, the community is urging its school board to clarify what’s appropriate. As Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank reports, the episode shows just how...

Bob Beck

For many years, the University of Wyoming choir programs have been recognized as among the best in the country. Since 2008 Doctor Nicole Lamartine has been the Director of Choral activities and she’s so highly thought of that she conducts and give seminars around the world and she’s a highly regarded singer in her own right. But she also has a hidden talent as a weight lifter. A power lifter to be exact and a pretty good one, for instance, she currently holds the world back squat record after...

Leland Christensen

State Senator Leland Christensen is among the Republican candidates hoping to replace Congressman Cynthia Lummis in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lummis announced late last year that she would not seek re-election and it led to a surge of interest in her seat. Christensen has an extensive political background as both a Teton County Commissioner and a State Senator. Currently, he chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. He served as a law enforcement officer for 20 years and in the military...

Wikipedia Creative Commons

The legislature’s joint revenue committee wrapped up two days of discussions on possible tax increases to deal with Wyoming’s declining revenue picture. The committee looked at everything from increasing property taxes to pay for an education shortfall to letting communities add a sales tax on food. But at the end of the two days, the committee only agreed to draft two bills, both dealing with increasing the wind tax. Cheyenne Representative Sue Wilson said there is little appetite to do more...

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A Wyoming legislative committee is looking into ways to help cities, towns, and counties raise more money, but a localized food tax failed to gain support Thursday. State Senator Ogden Driskill of Devils Tower said the state will likely not be able to keep providing money for local government at the rate it has in the past. Lawmakers approved 105 million dollars for local entities for the next two years, a decrease of 78 million from the previous two years. Driskill offered a proposal to let...

UW Told To Cut $35 Million

May 11, 2016
University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will have to make massive budget cuts over the next two years. Governor Matt Mead delivered the bad news to the UW trustees Wednesday afternoon. “The University of Wyoming as it is the second largest user of general fund dollars we are asking for a bit above eight percent…the number is 35 million dollars.” The cut is on top of six million that UW received in March. University officials say the cuts will involve both programs and personnel. UW Deans are in the process...

A Wyoming man has won a two-year battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over a stock pond he constructed on his property. Andy Johnson of Fort Bridger was told by the EPA that he violated the clean water act by developing the pond, without the necessary federal permits. The pond was created from a creek. The agency threatened to fine him over 37-thousand dollars for every day he failed to remove the pond. In a lawsuit, Johnson contested the EPA’s authority. This week he reached a...

Aaron Schrank

Listen to the full show here. Wyoming's School Funding Boom Begins To Fade Thanks to a recent energy boom, Wyoming ranks among the top K-12 spenders per-student. But as oil and gas prices drop, and coal companies declare bankruptcy, the Cowboy State’s school funding future is in jeopardy. Wyoming Public Radio’s Aaron Schrank reports. Senate Energy Bill Shows Signs Of Hope Or Dark Omen When senators return to Washington on Monday they’ll resume work on an...

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