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

healthcare.gov

The Wyoming legislature has a long history of exploring ways to get quality and affordable insurance to more citizens, but for a variety of reasons, nothing has really ever worked. The legislature has long opposed accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid due to fears that the money would eventually dry up and the state would have a program it could no longer afford. But there is not an available state solution either.

Albany County Attorney Peggy Trent made the unusual decision this week to allow a piece of evidence be made available to the media. She allowed the release of a police video including a body cam that showed an encounter between an Albany County Sheriff's Deputy and a Laramie resident that resulted in the resident being shot and killed. Normally such evidence would be held until a trial, but she tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck why she wanted it released.

Liz Cheney

Wyoming U.S. Representative Liz Cheney admits that Tuesday was a bittersweet night for her. While she says she's delighted to represent Wyoming for two more years, she's disappointed it will be as a member of the minority party. Cheney predicts rough sledding for Republicans as Democrats likely try to put themselves in position to win back the Presidency in two years.

In an effort to keep Wyoming issues on the forefront, Representative Cheney is seeking the number three leadership position among House Republicans. One thing that Cheney says needs to change is discourse that is leading to violent acts. She spoke about that and other topics with Bob Beck.

There are mixed reviews about obesity in the Cowboy state. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that Wyoming's adult obesity rate ranks 34th in the nation, but its childhood obesity rate seems to be improving. Albert Lang who worked on The State of Obesity report tells Bob Beck that while there are clearly some improvements, it's a concern.

Wyoming's Midterm Election results are in. Wyoming Public Radio news director Bob Beck spoke with Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard about the outcomes of the races, and what they could mean for state politics going forward.

State of Wyoming

Secretary of State Ed Buchanan has been running the office ever since he was chosen to fill the unfinished term of Ed Murray earlier this year.  

In that time Buchanan has picked up on a number of things that could both help businesses and change the way Wyoming handles elections. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that working to diversify the economy will be something he’d like to be a part of if he gets elected.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

State Representative Jim Byrd is running for Wyoming’s Secretary of State post as a Democrat. Byrd is extremely familiar with the business and election parts of the job after serving on the legislature’s joint corporations committee. He tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that he hopes to get off the ground quickly.  

Bob Beck

Lawrence Struemph is Wyoming's Libertarian Candidate for governor. Dr. Struemph is a native of Fremont County who has a doctorate in Instructional Technology from the University of Wyoming. He's an educator, an avid gun owner and outdoorsman and very active in the Laramie community. Struemph tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that working with a variety of organizations opens his eyes up to the needs in Wyoming.

Stephanie Joyce

A surge in oil prices has led to the best revenue report for Wyoming in a few years. The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) is calling for Wyoming's general fund to see an increase of roughly $212 million in the next fiscal year and other sources of revenue are also expected to increase.

Bob Beck

State Treasurer Mark Gordon is the Republican candidate for governor. Gordon is a former businessman and owns a ranch in Johnson County. He joins Bob Beck to discuss issues from anti-discrimination issues to health care.  

Matthew Shepard Foundation

20 years ago this weekend, Matthew Shepard encountered Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson at the Fireside bar in Laramie. McKinney told police that he noticed that Shepard had money and decided to rob him. He admitted that he thought Shepard would be an easy target because he was small in stature and appeared to be gay. 

Albany County Sheriff David O'Malley

From the time they learned about the Shepard attack, it was a busy time for Laramie law enforcement and the legal community as they dealt with the two people accused of murdering Matthew Shepard. The case had intense media scrutiny and international interest that overwhelmed residents of Laramie. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck caught up with three people who were very closely involved in the case. A police investigator, a judge and a defense attorney who discuss their memories and what they think happened.


Gobonobo / wikipedia

Next week is the 20 year anniversary of the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, an event that sparked national media coverage and fierce controversy. One of the people who covered the case from the start was Wyoming Public Radio news director Bob Beck. He joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss his memories, how the event impacted people and Wyoming, and what LGBTQ issues still remain.

Rex Rammell

Rock Springs Veterinarian Rex Rammell is running for governor as a member of the Constitution Party. Rammell, who is not a fan of Republican Candidate Mark Gordon, decided to enter the race as a third party candidate to give conservative voters another option. Rammell had considered running as a Republican, but initially decided to stay out of the race. He speaks with Bob Beck.

Bob Beck

Wyoming's prisons are overcrowded to the point that the Department of Corrections has had to ship some inmates out of state. An analysis of the Wyoming prison system shows that over 50 percent of those behind bars are there due to probation or parole violations. Lawmakers were told that they could save millions if they found a way to keep those people from returning to prison.

DHHS

Eligible Wyoming residents will be getting new Medicare cards in the mail this week. 

Wyoming State Legislature

The legislature's Joint Judiciary Committee spent Thursday going through a massive report that proposes a number of reforms within Wyoming's judicial system. The hope is that it'll reduce the prison population and save the state money. 

Brian Harrington

Democrat Mary Throne is hoping to become Wyoming's next governor. Throne was born and raised in Campbell County, growing up on a ranch on Wild Horse Creek. She's currently a Cheyenne attorney and for many years worked with the Department of Environmental Quality.

Throne is a former State Representative and Minority floor leader. She is facing Republican opponent Mark Gordon and others in the general election.

NPR

The Wyoming Department of Health will be using a national advertising campaign to assist with state efforts to combat opioid abuse. State Epidemiologist Alexia Harrist said the campaign from the Centers for Disease Control tells stories of abuse and addiction.

Alexander Heffner


On Tuesday the current host of the long-running PBS Program an Open Mind will give a keynote talk on the topic of civil discourse. Alexander Heffner is bringing his traveling discussion called “Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship” to the University of Wyoming. The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 5:30 p.m. in the College of Arts and Sciences auditorium on campus. He tells Bob Beck what his discussion will be about.

Bob Beck

The Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming Committee or ENDOW presented a 20-year plan to the legislature’s Joint Revenue, Business and Economic Development Committee and generally got good support. 

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