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

A new Wyoming School Finance bill has been approved by the Legislature's Joint Education Committee, but it has its critics. 

The biggest concern is over a portion of the bill that is called the regional cost adjustment, which applies to salaries districts get and takes into consideration where a district is located. 

The committee has decided to shift to a new funding mechanism called the hedonic wage index, that will reduce what the state pays for salaries by about seven million dollars. 

The State Department of Education says school districts developing anti-bullying plans will do a lot to improve not only behavior, but education in the state.  Wyoming’s most recent youth risk behavior survey found that a quarter of high school students and better than 50 percent of middle school students in the state experienced bullying.  Superintendent of Schools Cindy Hill said bullying is unacceptable.  She said they have found that schools with no tolerance for bullying actually are higher performing schools and Hill says that is not surprising.

Listen to the Story

Last spring, Laramie County school district number one, which serves all of Cheyenne, started working on its bullying plan.  It will train everyone from teachers to students. Recently, the district was reminded how important these efforts are as Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

A group of citizens wants the Campbell County School District to allow a new long-term care facility to be built on land where an abandoned school, administration building and bus barn now stands.  Gillette resident Tom Johnson says the current nursing home facility needs to be updated.  The plan is to build a new long term care campus for residents that can better assist them at various stages of the aging process.

     For the last decade, Wyoming has ranked either first or second for workplace deaths and two groups are asking legislators to change things.  The AFL-CIO and the Spence Association for Employee Rights point to a recent report that said that Wyoming has had 622 work related deaths since 1992. Kim Floyd of the AFL-CIO says that is too many and it’s time for state leaders to change their approach and finally do something to improve the workplace culture.

For the last year and a half the Cheyenne school district says it has been developing new programs to address bullying in schools.  With the suicide death of 13 year old Alexander Frye, they say it shows how important this issue is. 

Frye’s relatives blame bullying at his school for his death and school Board member Glen Garcia says the district’s plan is intended to change the culture in schools by getting bystanders involved.

A state run health care pilot project continues to struggle to get participants, and Governor Matt Mead recently wonders about its future. 

The Healthy Frontiers project helps low income people who don’t qualify for government assistance programs to get health careand gets people access to a doctor which is paid for by a health care savings account.  Governor Mead says a number of people have signed up for the program, only to drop out.

Wyoming Tourism

Wyoming tourism officials are hoping that the snowfall in Jackson will attract tourists to the state between now and New Years. 

NPR’s new President and CEO is Gary Knell, who took over duties at the network earlier this month.  Knell took over at NPR  after serving as theCEO of Sesame Workshop – a collaborative, multimedia organization that maximizes the educational power of media to help children and families reach their highest potential.  He takes over at NPR at a time when the network is still trying to get off the political hot seat.  He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck. Listen to the interview: URLs for gk.mp3:

A recent report by a group called Good Jobs First suggested that Wyoming doesn’t track business incentives to make sure that they create good jobs.  The report was critical of all of Wyoming’s economic development incentives.  But the CEO of the economic development group Cheyenne Leads begs to differ. Randy Bruns  is also the President of the Wyoming Economic Development Association and he says the legislature pays very close attention to what is done with state money.

      A popular 40 acre piece of land near the highway 22 bridge in Wilson and along the Snake River has been acquired by The Jackson Hole Land Trust and The  LOR Foundation.  It’s currently a popular access point for boating and swimming.  The President of the Jackson Hole Land Trust Board Pete Lawton says they hope to do a variety of things with the property.            

“There is another piece of property across from it called Emily’s pond.  A similar type of idea where we could have some ponds in there, possibly fishing for kids, walking paths…etc.”


The nation's coal- and oil-fired power plants, will be forced to reduce their emissions orshut down, under a federal regulation released by the Environmental Protection Agency today/Wednesday. 

The Powder River Basin Resource Council’s Shannon Anderson doubts any Wyoming plant will go out of operation, but she says several need to clean their emissions.

New numbers from the state’s economic analysis division indicate that Wyoming’s recovery from the recession is over.  Senior economist for the division, Jim Robinson, says that Wyoming’s personal income failed to grow between the second and third quarters of the year, which ranks Wyoming 33rd nationally.  Robinson says the state is now in a holding pattern.

Winter Weather On The Way

Dec 19, 2011

Those hoping to drive across Wyoming for the Christmas holiday may face some difficult driving conditions as early as Wednesday.  Chris Jones with the National Weather Service office in Riverton says the first storm could hit the state Wednesday and Thursday.                 

“Produce widespread snowfall across the state  that includes areas east of the Continental Divide, so people should be alert to changing travel conditions Wednesday night and then also continuing through the rest of the week.”

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One of the biggest reasons for the success of the 8-4 Wyoming Cowboys football team is the surprising play of its freshman Quarterback Brett Smith.  Smith was named a freshman All American and will lead Wyoming against Temple in Saturday’s New Mexico bowl.  He tells Bob Beck that it is hard to believe that as a freshman that he will be starting in a bowl game.

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Award winning author and Wyoming native Ron Franscell has been busy with a couple of books.  One is the critically acclaimed book called The Sourtoe Cocktail Club and the other is a fun book called the Crime Buffs Guide to the Outlaw Rockies.  He joins Bob Beck in the studio.

Pokes Face Temple

Dec 16, 2011

The wait is just about over for the Wyoming Cowboys.  The Pokes will face the Temple Owls in the New Mexico Bowl Saturday and try to overcome one of the best defenses in the country. Wyoming finished third in the Mountain West Conference while Temple placed 2nd in the east division of the Mid-America Conference.