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 eight national Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) awards. Bob has personally won three PRNDI awards for reporting and three 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.

Ways to Connect

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Wyoming Public Media's podcast The Modern West has been gearing up for a new season. They're doing something quite different this time around. Instead of a lot of separate stories, they're going to tell one big story over the course of eleven episodes. Bob Beck sat down with the podcast's host Melodie Edwards to hear what's coming down the pipe.

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming
Bob Beck


It was a rough spring for Wyoming's workforce. Unemployment skyrocketed with the closure of many businesses due to COVID-19. The federal government provided assistance, but it took awhile to get the roughly $336 million it paid out into people's hands. Robin Cooley is the director of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. She told Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that when the pandemic hit in Wyoming, things changed quickly.

University of Wyoming

After five more University of Wyoming students tested positive for COVID-19, the University has paused its fall return plan.  

picserver.org/e/economy.html

A new report from the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information shows that sales tax numbers last spring dropped dramatically in both mining and lodging.

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Listen to the full show here.

Taxes Continue To Be A Hard Sell For Many Lawmakers

This week, Gov. Mark Gordon started addressing Wyoming's $1.5 billion shortfalls with $250 million in budget cuts.

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This week, Gov. Mark Gordon started addressing Wyoming's $1.5 billion shortfalls with $250 million in budget cuts.

The cuts are due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 and a sudden drop in energy prices. Gordon has said he would like to see cuts, reserves, and some new revenue sources used together to address the shortfall, but that remains difficult.

Savannah Maher


The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is considering changes to laws and regulations surrounding trapping. This comes after some encounters that members of the public and pets have had with traps near public areas. Some want trapping near trails banned, and others say pets should always be leashed. A working group has looked into solutions. Lander Region Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter spoke with Bob Beck to discuss what they are proposing.

Wyoming PBS

Gov. Mark Gordon announced $250 million in budget cuts as the state tries to deal with a massive budget deficit of over $1 billion. Nine percent of that cut will come from the Wyoming Department of Health, which will eliminate a number of programs that serve seniors and low-income people. 

Bob Beck

  

Some notable legislators lost their seats in last night's Wyoming Primary, many were targets of a conservative arm of the Republican Party. 

Cynthia Lummis and Merav Ben-David

Former Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis is one step closer to returning to Washington. Lummis won the Republican Senate primary and will face Democrat Merav Ben-David in the General Election.

Bob Beck

Tuesday, August 18 is Wyoming's primary election, and while there is a race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat, more interesting races surround the attempt by the conservative arm of the state Republican party to gain power in the legislature. Nick Reynolds of the Casper Star Tribune joined Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to discuss this.

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming has changed its plans and will begin the fall semester on August 24 and will only have limited in-person classes beginning September 7.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Mountain West Conference, which includes the University of Wyoming, is cancelling all sporting events for the fall.

University of Wyoming


When University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel was hired this spring, he had lots of ideas. Then COVID-19 hit and his priorities shifted. Despite budget cuts, he's still excited about the future of UW and how it will impact the state. He spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

https://www.shortfor307.com/

In the next several days, Wyoming Public Radio will be chatting with some of the folks seeking Wyoming Congressional seats. We begin the series by speaking with Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Robert Short.

Mr. Short is a Converse County Commissioner, an entrepreneur, and a businessman whose worked in areas such as energy, agriculture and tourism. We begin the conversation discussing energy and some of the things that need to be done to help Wyoming's industry get through tough times.

On Monday, July 6, the State Land and Investment Board will decide whether it wants to move forward and bid on acquiring a million surface acres and four million acres from Occidental Petroleum. The board, which is made up of the top five state elected officials, is awaiting word from the international investment and financial services company Barclays on the value of the land.

Wyoming Department of Health - State of Wyoming

Wyoming continues to see new COVID-19 cases at a very high rate, and it has some officials nervous as the fourth of July weekend looms. State Health Officer Alexia Harrist said at a news conference that people need to social distance and start wearing face coverings in order to stop the surge.

She said it's becoming clear what factors have driven the numbers up.

Like most health care providers across the state, Jackson Doctor Brent Blue wants people to take precautions and follow rules for social distancing. What he doesn't want to see is people panic over COVID-19. Dr. Blue tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that numbers are going up in the state and there are logical reasons for that.

Spc. Miguel Pena

Uinta County public health officials have quarantined roughly 200 individuals following a community outbreak that seems to be the result of a public gathering on May 30 where social distancing measures were not taken seriously. 

Wyoming Department of Health - State of Wyoming


In early 2020, very few people had ever heard of Dr. Alexia Harrist. Since that time, the State Health officer has become a well-known and important figure as she tries to guide the state through the COVID-19 pandemic. Harrist has lately been opening things up. She told Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that she's optimistic as the state deals with tourists and other challenges.

Bob Beck


In Wyoming history, only 119 women have won legislative races. Since about half of the state is made up of women, it means they seriously lack representation. It's an issue that has been discussed for years, though little gets done.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

As we focus on suffrage in Wyoming, we are taking this opportunity to preview a new podcast that Wyoming Public Media and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West are in the process of creating. The KidsAskWhy podcast amplifies the voices of kids who want to ask questions. And it turns out Wyoming kids want to know about women's suffrage as well. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck spoke to producer Kamila Kudelska.

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