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 over 100 national, regional and state news awards. 

In addition to duties as News Director, Bob is the co-creator, co-host and producer of the news magazine Open Spaces, which has won nine national Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) awards. Bob has personally won four PRNDI awards for reporting and four regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. He has also won numerous Associated Press and Wyoming Association of Broadcasters awards in his career. 

Bob was given the WEA School Bell Award for education reporting and was honored by the Governor’s Council on Impaired Driving for his reporting. On the television side, Bob has been part of two Emmy Award-winning PBS telecasts. 

In his career, Bob has covered the legislature longer than any Wyoming broadcaster. Additional coverage as a reporter includes events such as the Mark Hopkinson execution, the Jessica Dubroff plane crash, the Matthew Shepard murder and a drunk driving crash that killed eight University of Wyoming Athletes. 

Professionally, he has served on the PRNDI Board and has been state coordinator for the Radio Television Digital News Association and Project Vote Smart.  

Bob taught broadcast news at the University of Wyoming for 20 years and twice was honored with a Top Prof award by the UW Mortar Board.   

Around Laramie, Bob is active in community events. He co-chaired the 2009 Albany County United Way Campaign, served as President of the United Way Board, and has been involved with other non-profit organizations as a board member and volunteer.

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.

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Bob Beck

Listen to the full show here.

After A Legislative Session Of Budget Cuts, What Happens Next?

The Wyoming Legislature just wrapped up a session where $430 million was cut from the existing budget to make up for major losses of revenue connected with COVID-19.

Wyoming School Boards Association


One of the top priorities of many legislators was to reduce spending for K-12 education. Governor Mark Gordon has mentioned it in his last couple of State of the State messages and the legislature was just a conference committee away from passing a bill to do that. But a major disagreement between the House and Senate over whether there should just be reductions or reductions that included some revenue led to the bill's demise.

It led Casper Senator Charles Scott to claim that the House was a bunch of tax and spend liberals. That overreaction probably won't help future discussions go any smoother, but it's also likely the issue isn't off the table. The good news for school districts is that they won't see cuts this year. Brian Farmer is the Director of the Wyoming School Boards Association. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck asked him to break down what happened.

Bob Beck


The Wyoming Legislature just wrapped up a session where $430 million was cut from the existing budget to make up for major losses of revenue connected with COVID-19.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature has approved a bill that changes how health orders are issued. It gives the governor and county commissioners power to approve extended health orders in a pandemic.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House and Senate could not reach a compromise on a school funding bill that would have cut around $135 million over three years. The bill is dead for the session.

Bob Beck


Bob Beck: The Wyoming legislature is winding up its work and we thought we'd begin the show discussing what we've seen. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler and I have been covering the session. And Catherine, I think I'd like to start with you. This was actually your first session. What were your takeaways? What did you see?

Public Domain, via sckrx

Listen to the full show here.

Wyoming Public Radio Reporters Discuss The Close Of The Legislative Session

The Wyoming legislature is winding up its work and we thought we'd begin the show discussing what we've seen. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler and Bob Beck have been covering the session.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate gave final approval to an education funding bill that would cut close to $80 million out of school funding over three years.

Melodie Edwards

The House Education Committee has tabled a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with school construction. It likely kills the bill.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Once again, the Wyoming legislature has rejected Medicaid expansion. Despite testimony providing overwhelming support for the measure and some federal aid to encourage more states to adopt the program, the Senate Labor and Health Committee voted three to two against the bill.

Dave Johnston Plant
Greg Goebel via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

A Wyoming Senate committee has started working on a bill that is intended to slow the closures of coal plants in the state.

Jimmy Emerson, DVM via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Wyoming House and Senate adopted a new state budget that reduces over $400 million from the existing two-year budget.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate passed a bill intended to strike a compromise over how the state can regulate Air Ambulance Membership organizations.

Inside the Wyoming State Capitol Building
Bob Beck

A bill that gives more power to elected officials when it comes to public health orders has passed the House.

The measure requires county commissioners to sign off on the extension of a local order after ten days, while the governor would do the same regarding a statewide order.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that would expand Medicaid in the state and provide health care coverage to an estimated 25,000 people.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate voted down a bill that would have moved up the primary election with the intent to have a runoff election, if the winner of the primary didn't have over 50 percent of the vote.

CCO Public Domain

After debating it for a few weeks, the Wyoming House gave final approval to a school finance bill. It includes budget cuts and adds revenue to make up for a $300 million budget shortfall for K-12 education.

gowyo.com

The University of Wyoming has won round one in a water dispute with the City of Laramie.

The Wyoming House of Representatives gave final approval to a bill that allows UW to drill a well and develop its own water system without interference from the city or the county.

https://www.nursetogether.com

The Wyoming House of Representatives is debating a bill that would limit public health orders to ten days and require elected officials to agree to extend the order.

Anna Rader

After debating how much to charge per acre, the Wyoming House of Representatives has defeated a bill that would have allowed the state to sell a square mile of Grand Teton National Park to the National Park Service.

Wyoming Education Association


Over the last couple of weeks, the Wyoming House and Senate have been making changes to the funding model that funds schools in the state. Most of the focus has been on cuts, with the Senate trimming over $100 million and the House cutting an additional $60 million.

The funding model provides money that schools say they need to operate and is court mandated. To change the model there needs to be evidence that less money for schools is needed. Grady Hutcherson, President of the Wyoming Education Association, discussed whether lawmakers are following the law.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming House of Representatives made a number of cuts to the school funding model that increased the reductions in an education funding bill to close to $70 million.

sheridanwyoming.com

The Wyoming Senate is debating a proposed constitutional amendment that would take the funding of school buildings out of the hands of the state and return it to local districts.

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that the state needs to pay for school buildings and upkeep.

University of Wyoming

The Wyoming Cowgirls basketball team will face UCLA in the first round of the NCAA tournament Monday night.

The 14th-seeded Cowgirls are playing in just their second-ever NCAA tournament, while UCLA is making its fifth straight appearance and was 16-5 on the regular season.

Bob Beck


Dissatisfaction with how Wyoming handled the pandemic has reached the legislature. Bills and budget amendments have been crafted to remove the power of the state health officer and to put legislators and county commissioners into the driver's seat.

Bob Beck

Update: Following a reconsideration vote, the Wyoming House of Representatives has reversed course and voted to pass a bill regulating online sports betting. The bill would legalize the activity and provide revenue to the state.  The Wyoming Gaming Commission would oversee all operations and develop rules.  The bill now heads to the Senate for further debate.

Bob Beck

A bill that outlaws chemically- induced abortions has passed a Wyoming legislative committee, despite comments that the measure is unconstitutional.

Jimmy Emerson via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Wyoming House and Senate continued work on the state budget by considering a number of amendments.

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