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

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Gov. Mark Gordon said Friday that he's extending three statewide health orders an additional two weeks. Gordon made the announcement after consulting with the State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist.

State of Wyoming

Governor Mark Gordon has appointed the other four top elected officials in the state to explore some challenges facing Wyoming and try and find solutions.

One interesting committee chaired by State Auditor Kristi Racines is looking at the business and financial sector as Wyoming faces a devastating down. Bob Beck begins the interview by noting that many small business people are scared.

State of Wyoming

Despite the fact that Wyoming is seeing more positive COVID-19 cases, Governor Mark Gordon said he's not ready to issue an order to confine residents to their homes.

State of Wyoming

As the state and nation battle COVID-19, State Auditor Kristi Racines said that finding ways to help struggling businesses and those who have been laid off is difficult.

Bob Beck

Over the years there's been a conflict between news, advocacy organizations and members of the public versus government agencies when it comes to documents and information. Many times these issues go to court. In an effort to make all sides play better together, the legislature created the position of Ombudsman to settle these disputes. Ruth Van Mark joins Bob Beck to discuss her role in the state.

Charles Willgren via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Fremont County currently has the highest number of known COVID-19 cases in Wyoming - nine out of 20 that have been confirmed in our state by Friday. Eight of Fremont County's cases are residents or staff members at Lander's Showboat Retirement Center, and state health officials say the ninth case is directly related to that cluster.

Pennsylvania Department of Health Bureau of Laboratories via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wyoming health officials say they are only testing people for COVID-19 who show clear symptoms. State Department of Health Spokeswoman Kim Deti said medical providers are deciding who needs to be tested. 

University of Wyoming Athletics

The University of Wyoming's new men's basketball coach Jeff Linder said he plans on developing a winning program quickly. Linder comes to Wyoming from the University of Northern Colorado where he led the Bears to three straight 20-win seasons.

Public Domain

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Teton County is shutting down all non-essential businesses for 14 days. 

Google Maps

The Wyoming Public Health Laboratory has identified seven new cases of COVID-19. 

State of Wyoming

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon is using the top five elected officials to head up the state's response to COVID-19. 

University of Wyoming

The University of Wyoming will teach classes online for the rest of the semester. The decision announced in a meeting of the UW Board of Trustees Monday morning is in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the attempt to keep the campus community safe.

https://wrrnetwork.com/

The Wyoming Department of Health says a third case of COVID-19 was identified in Sheridan County. The Department says the man was linked to a Sheridan County woman who was the state's first case. The Department says the man was visiting Colorado and tested positive there.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature wrapped up its work this week with concerns about the future. A downturn in oil prices and worries about a drop in investment income has lawmakers thinking that they may need to make some difficult decisions in the not-too-distant future.

Associated Press

The State Senate has passed a bill that sets up a process for legislators to review the school funding model and take a close look at education requirements.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Declining oil prices, a lack of substantial budget cuts, and concerns spending reserves dominated discussion as the Wyoming House and Senate gave final approval to its two-year budget.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming Senate is scheduled to debate a bill today to set up a gaming commission who will determine how to regulate the growth in video gambling in the state.

Wyoming State Senator Affie Ellis.
LINDSAY LINTON BUK

Cheyenne Senator Affie Ellis successfully added an amendment to include more non-politicians in discussions over how Wyoming spends its education money.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A state capital construction bill received final approval from the Wyoming House, setting the stage for a conference committee that will focus on what the University of Wyoming will get. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

State officials say there are no known cases of coronavirus in Wyoming, but they have plans in place to try and minimize an outbreak.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Legislature will be undertaking what is called a recalibration of its school funding system. It's a process where lawmakers look at what they require of educators and the state is paying enough for education. But for the first time since it was developed, the committee will study what is in Wyoming's basket of goods. Those are the skills and content areas students are required to learn, such as math and science.

Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Radio

Both the Wyoming House and Senate began discussing the possible purchase of a million acres of surface land and four million acres of mineral rights. Legislative leaders said the goal is to establish ground rules that could make such a purchase possible. 

Wyoming Legislature logo
Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming Legislature has high hopes of debating some gaming bills this session including the establishment of a new gaming commission.

Bob Beck

Wyoming lawmakers continue working on a bill that would allow the state to look into purchasing a million acres of land in southern Wyoming.  

The swath of one million acres of land in southern Wyoming is currently owned by Occidental Petroleum and doesn't include any private or federal land.

Tennessee Watson

Wyoming lawmakers are still looking for ways to pay for education funding. A variety of tax proposals have been rejected and the long term forecast shows a major deficit in funds used for education.

Wyoming Business Council

Recently a Laramie man was chosen as the new CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. Josh Dorrell has a long history in private business and he's also taught business at the University of Wyoming.

Governor Gordon and others have called for a revamping of the business council and Dorrell has already started making changes that he hopes will bring about more success. He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

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