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Wyoming Public Radio celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016. In 1966, students and staff in the Student Union gathered together to sign an application to become KUWR.

Frank Imhoff - Former KUWR News Director

Frank Imhoff

I was coordinator for news and public affairs for KUWR roughly during the Reagan years. I arrived in August 1980 and succeeded Abby Kendrick, who left to teach broadcast journalism at Howard University. John McMullen was the general manager, Mick McLean the program director, Dave Worley the chief engineer, Curt Snook the fine arts coordinator, and Tom Wilhelm was the king of bluegrass as long as I can remember.

There’s a picture in the 50th anniversary section of the WPR website that shows me with a rather stern expression behind three microphones. I was using one, and two were pointed at an unseen guest. KUWR would regularly host news conferences and invite state officials to come to Laramie. Being “neutral” territory, all Wyoming news outlets were welcome. Governor Ed Herschler was one who would drive over from Cheyenne about once a year, and the radio stations and Laramie Daily Boomerang routinely sent reporters. During the 1988 election season, U.S. Senator Paul Simon sat down for one such hour.

The KUWR news director, sports director and Morning Edition host were students hired (and often rehired) each year. One news director, Greg Schieferstein, is now news director at the NBC television affiliate in Pocatello, Idaho. A Morning Edition host, Charles Pelkey, is a member of the Wyoming legislature.

When I left KUWR in March 1988, Lyle Mettler was the general manager and Don Woods was the program director. I did my exit interview with Lyle, and he asked me to recommend my replacement. I was impressed by the news director at KOWB, so I told Lyle he needed to talk with Bob Beck.

Credit UW Archives
Frank Imhoff - KUWR Studio 1986

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