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

For the last four years, the Wyoming legislature has been meeting at a remodeled Kmart as the state capitol complex has undergone extensive renovations. While new state office space is being constructed, the big news surrounds the restoration that has taken place inside the capitol building.

Courtesy University of Wyoming Athletics

This week University of Wyoming women's basketball coach Joe Legerski surprised many by announcing his retirement. Legerski is the winningest coach in program history and was coming off a 25 win season. He tells Bob Beck that a big reason for his choice had to do with family considerations.

University of Wyoming

Many on campus and the state want to know why UW President Laurie Nichols is not being retained. That includes Dr. Nichols herself. She was hired during a turbulent time at UW, but she believes things are much improved. Nichols says she had been working with UW's Board of Trustees on a new contract and then she was informed last week that her contract would not be renewed. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Gov. Mark Gordon said a bill that takes away a county's ability to apply zoning regulations to private schools can become law without his signature.

Public Domain

It's Sunshine Week, where media outfits are discussing public access to meetings and documents. Wyoming has never been a leader in this area, but a new law could change things. Lawmakers passed an Open Records law this year that requires entities to meet records requests in 30 days. 

Screenshot from the Local Government Liability Pool's rules and regulations.

March 10-16, 2019 was Sunshine Week. The annual event recognizes the importance of access to public information, and the journalists who defend a culture of transparency. Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck sat down with reporter Tennessee Watson to talk about what's behind the struggle to get elected officials in Albany County to talk about a recent officer-involved shooting. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A massive winter storm that will continue overnight has dumped over a foot of snow in some places and drifts even higher. Local law enforcement agencies said snow accumulations, icy roads and strong winds have contributed to a number of accidents and many communities are asking residents to stay off the roads.  

Chris Jones of the National Weather Service in Riverton said the storm lived up to expectations with the storm focused on the eastern half of the state. 

Bob Beck

While the Wyoming legislature was busy fighting about private schools, the budget and a few tax issues, it also passed legislation that continues to make the state the place to be for Blockchain technology.

Rachel Girt

With the end of the legislative session, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon is spending most of his time reviewing bills. He takes a break to join Bob Beck to discuss the past legislative session. 

A bill that would have imposed a 20-hour work requirement on those who receive Medicaid has been defeated.

Bob Beck

Community Colleges may soon be able to offer bachelors degrees of applied sciences. The House gave final approval to a bill that supporters say will help economic development and can improve the number of four-year degrees in Wyoming.

Stephanie Joyce

The Wyoming House and Senate went well into the morning hours and adjourned without reaching a deal on a bill that provides a severance tax break for closed in oil and gas wells.

The disagreement was over the price when the tax kicked in. Earlier in the day Cheyenne Representative Bob Nicholas feared that the legislation would let some companies take advantage of the state by re-starting wells and paying small amounts of severance tax money at a point where the wells are the most productive.

Wyoming State Legislature

The Wyoming legislative session has technically adjourned, though there are still some loose ends to wrap up. Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck joined Morning Edition host Caroline Ballard to discuss Medicaid, tax measures, and what could carry into the interim session.

Bob Beck

The Wyoming Senate has passed a bill that would allow the Board of Medicine to sanction doctors who don't tell the state that they performed an abortion. Supporters say they are trying to put teeth into a law that currently exists.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The Wyoming House of Representatives has given final approval to a bill that will allow a private school to be built in Teton County without interference from local officials.

Senate Defeats Lodging Tax

Feb 26, 2019
Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The last major revenue raising measure for the state has failed. The Senate defeated a 5 percent lodging tax increase, with 3 percent of revenues going towards statewide tourist promotion and the rest going to counties.

Senate Considers Hemp Bill

Feb 22, 2019
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

A bill that would finally allow Wyoming farmers to grow industrial Hemp has made its way through initial debate in the State Senate.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a five percent lodging tax that could provide over $20 million to Wyoming's tourism industry. Three percent of the tax would go towards state tourism promotion and the other two percent would go to counties to promote local tourism. Senator Hank Coe of Cody said during floor debate that the tax is important.

DAVE PARKER / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

A Senate committee has voted 4-1 to approve a bill that would require doctors who perform abortions to document how many times they have performed the procedure.

Oil and gas drilling on Butler's property.
Cooper McKim

A bill that would give a severance tax exemption to encourage oil and gas producers to re-open shut down wells will go to the House Floor.

People listen to proceedings in the Wyoming House of Representatives
Bob Beck

A bill that would remove county zoning authority from over private schools has received initial support from the Wyoming House of Representatives.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate will soon get a chance to debate a 5 percent statewide lodging tax proposal that supporters say will raise $32 million. Most of the money will go to fund tourism promotion in the state.

Public Domain

Wyoming is a step closer to having a new public records law. The House passed Senate File 57 that sets up deadlines for governmental agencies to respond to a public records request and puts in place an ombudsman whose job is to make sure those requests are met.

Strong opposition to a proposed corporate income tax that was targeted at large-box stores will likely die this session without a vote. After a lot of opposition, the bill started to lose support in the Senate.

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