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

The Wyoming House of Representatives finally passed a statewide 5 percent lodging tax and voted down an attempt to exempt Wyoming residents.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The State of Wyoming is working on a massive land deal that would involve one million square acres across southern Wyoming.

Downtown Laramie

Laramie could lose $400,000 over two years in state funding under a formula approved by the Wyoming Senate last week.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming House of Representatives has started debate on a bill that would impose a statewide five percent tourism tax. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon praised a number of groups for working together as he officially signed his migration corridor executive order.

Inside the Wyoming State Capitol Building
Bob Beck

The Wyoming House voted to introduce a bill sought after by cities and towns. The bill will give municipalities the ability to ask voters to pass a tax to benefit their community as long as voters also support a countywide sales tax. 

whytoread.com

During his State of the State message, Gov. Mark Gordon indicated that there is a need to reduce education spending.

Michael Pearlman / Governor's Office

Gov. Mark Gordon told lawmakers that Wyoming is envied by other states since it has savings. At the State of the State address on Monday, Gordon said that will allow the state to delay any massive cuts before the implications for the reductions can be understood.

American Heart Association

The Wyoming Legislature will be addressing a number of issues surrounding health care when it convenes next week. One will be Medicaid expansion and another is the return of an effort to give optometrists the ability to perform certain eye surgeries.

Some believe that should be left up to Ophthalmologists who specialize in such things. Doctor David Wheeler is the President of the Wyoming Medical Society joins Bob Beck to discuss views on those bills.

Bob Beck

One of the difficult things for children who are placed in group homes is how to manage when they leave that setting. It used to be that when those 18-year-olds left a group home, they would essentially have to fend for themselves. In Laramie, Cathedral Home for Children has the Extended Families Program that tries to help young people navigate the so-called real world.

Wyoming Humanities

Wyoming has been working towards economic diversification and one way to do that is to make Wyoming's culture, arts and humanities programs a bigger part of the effort. Recently the former CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, Shawn Reese, joined Wyoming Humanities to further this effort. The Director of Wyoming Humanities is Shannon Smith and she and Reese explain the idea to Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

Bob Beck

As the University of Wyoming football team struggled down the stretch on offense, few people took it harder than offensive coordinator Brent Vigen. In fairness he was in a tough spot, he'd lost a number of offensive lineman, two running backs and his starting quarterback due to injuries.

As the Cowboys prepare to play in the Arizona Bowl Vigen tells Bob Beck that the silver lining is that a lot of young players just missed winning a couple of big games and that the future of Cowboy football is bright. However…the season certainly didn't go as planned.

State of Wyoming

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon presented his budget to the legislature's Joint Appropriations Committee this week and it didn't feature massive budget cuts some were predicting due to a downturn in revenue. The governor joins Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck to discuss his strategy along with some other topics.

State of Wyoming

Gov. Mark Gordon said although Wyoming's revenue picture is changing, the state should take the next two years to determine priorities and decide where future revenue may come from.

State of Wyoming

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon unveiled a mostly flat budget, rejecting a number of budget increases. But he did not cut the existing budget, using reserve funds to balance the budget over the next two years. The governor did predict that budget cuts could be forthcoming as the state's revenue picture looks dicey.

ideastations.org

The Wyoming Legislature will take another crack at Medicaid expansion. The legislature's Joint Revenue Committee approved a proposed bill that will ask Gov. Mark Gordon to explore options for Wyoming's participation in expansion and determine whether it's financially viable for the state. Eventually lawmakers would need to approve a Wyoming plan.

Kim Nielsen

The author of a book called A Disability History of the United States is visiting the University of Wyoming this week as part of a celebration of the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities. Kim Nielsen is a professor of Disability Studies at the University of Toledo. She tells Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck that her book was not planned.

Wyoming Public Media

If you listen to Wyoming Public Radio, you no doubt have heard the reoccurring promos for The Modern West. Some of you probably have checked the new and improved podcast out, but for the rest of you, podcast producer Melodie Edwards shifts into the guest chair to explain what it's all about.

Catherine Wheeler

Listen to the full show here.

Cheney And Barrasso Oppose Trump's Plan For Syria

This week Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney rebuked President Trump’s strategy - or lack there of - in Syria. And she’s not alone, as Correspondent Matt Laslo reports from Washington.

There was a time when surgeries were a spectacle and one of the most unsanitary events you've ever seen. That's until a Doctor named Joseph Lister changed their ways. Author Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris came to the University of Wyoming this week to discuss her award winning and gory book The Butchering Art.

NAEP Scores A Mixed Bag

Nov 1, 2019
Wyoming Department of Education

Wyoming saw some up and down results with the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP scores.

Wyoming Legislature

Not only will Wyoming generate less money over the next three years, the state is also looking for at least $150 million to cover its next two-year budget, according to a new revenue report. But that number may actually be closer to $400 million.

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