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

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. 

Cooper McKim

State Treasurer Mark Gordon won the Wyoming Republican Primary Election by seven percent of the vote. Some in the GOP who favored other candidates want to blame that on the possibility that Gordon attracted some Democrats who switched party affiliation the day of the primary. The other theory was that a large number of more conservative candidates split votes, which allowed Gordon to win. However, there's also the chance that Gordon, who came in as the favorite, was the preferred candidate.

Courtesy AARP

If you have seen the Steven Spielberg movie Catch Me If You Can, you are no doubt familiar with the name Frank Abagnale. The former teen con artist is now one of the world's most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement and secure documents. He is now a Fraud Watch Ambassador for AARP and spoke to Bob Beck this week in Casper.

In the August 21 primary election, Wyoming voters chose Mark Gordon as the Republican nominee for governor, Mary Throne as the Democratic nominee for governor, and congressional incumbents John Barrasso and Liz Cheney, among other races. Wyoming Public Radio news director Bob Beck joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to discuss the results and possible implications.

State Treasurer Mark Gordon

State Treasurer Mark Gordon won the Republican nomination for governor with an unofficial seven percent victory over multi-millionaire Foster Friess. Cheyenne attorney Harriett Hageman finished third.

Gordon overcame a last-minute endorsement of Friess from President Trump and some negative attacks from other candidates to win. Gordon said he was surprised by the Trump endorsement, but at the end the day he said it didn’t matter.

State of Wyoming

A longtime state senator said his experience as a liaison to the state retirement board makes him the best fit to become the next state treasurer.   

taylorhaynesforgovernor.com

A Wyoming judge has denied a state request to force Republican candidate for Governor, Taylor Haynes, to stop his campaign and withdraw.   

Charlie Hardy

Longtime political candidate Charlie Hardy is taking another run at public office. Hardy, who’s run as an independent and a Democrat is now running against Senator John Barrasso as a Republican. Hardy is someone who says he doesn’t believe in political parties, but he always considered himself an Eisenhower Republican and that’s why he says he’s suited for this race. He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck. 

Bob Beck

The primary election takes place August 21 and candidates are hitting the home stretch of campaigning. If you’re a Republican, you are probably aware of the election due to the countless mailers you’ve been getting. Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck has been following the campaign for governor and joins Caroline Ballard for an overview of the primary race.

Bob Beck

Two years ago Wyoming’s defense struggled and last season it was one of the best in the nation. The Cowboys ranked number one in the nation in takeaways, 9th in scoring defense, and 23rd overall. This season many publications say Wyoming will have one of the ten best defenses in the country. 

Gobonobo / wikipedia

The University of Wyoming and the city of Laramie plan a series of events this fall to remember the 20-year anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. Shepard was an openly gay student who was kidnapped, tied to a fence and pistol-whipped to death. He has become a national symbol for the LGBTQ community. 

Greg Hunter


Democrat Greg Hunter is a geologist who’s based in Laramie and he’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Hunter has worked in the energy industry and as a consultant for the federal government on a range of environmental issues and he’s very concerned about Wyoming’s natural resources. He joins Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck. 

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