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

     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. 


The proposal to use a pipeline to transport water from the Green River to the Colorado Front Range faces strong opposition from Western Resource Advocates and some other conservation groups.  Attorney Rob Harris filed formal objections onthe groups’ behalf to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is reviewing the plan.  Harris says the project is too expensive, could cause environmental damage and could even cause problems for the multi-state water compact.

The Wyoming Cowboys football team is scaling back its practices as the Pokes get ready for the New Mexico Bowl.  Wyoming’s opponent Temple, is one of the better running teams in the country. 

Wyoming Linebacker Brian Hendricks says the Cowboys have faced a number of good running backs this year, but few teams who are committed to running the ball as much as the Owls.

    Wyoming guard JayDee Luster scored a career high 18 points to lift  the Cowboys to a 58-48 win over U-C Irvine.  Luster normally distributes the ball, but the Anteaters played a defense that dared him to shoot.

“Coach Shyatt prepared us for that before the game.  He told me about a week ago that guys are going to start playing off of you to try and slow down our offense.  But you know I’ve been coming into the gym every night shooting 300 three’s…so I had that confidence at the end of the game to keep shooting.”

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In December of 2009, armed with a better knowledge base thanks to research, the Wyoming Game and Fish department released some Big Horn Sheep from Utah and Oregon into the Seminoe Mountains north of Sinclair. The goal was to establish a thriving herd after numerous attempts at re-establishing Big Horn Sheep in the area failed for years, but this time things may have changed.

Listen to the whole show

A listing of today's stories

    As the Bureau of Land Management begins to offer greater protections for Sage Grouse, those in the conservation community are welcoming the news.  Steve Holmer with the American Bird Conservancy says with the Sage Grouse listed as a candidate for Endangered Species Act Protection the new approach is overdue.  

Holmer-"You know, I think to their credit, BLM is trying to get ahead of this issue. We’re pleased to see the BLM adopt this strategy – they’re on the right track."