Paul Westhelle

Executive Director

Paul Westhelle oversees management of JPR's daily operations and service to the community.  He came to JPR in 1990 as Director of Marketing and Development after holding jobs in non-profit management and fundraising for a national health agency.

Paul grew up in northern New Jersey just outside New York City, where he learned to be self-reliant, resourceful and look both ways before crossing the street.  As a student at Seton Hall University he developed a love for live music romping around Greenwich Village clubs. He traveled west in 1981 to attend San Jose State University where he graduated with a B.A. from its School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Paul believes the meaning of life can be found in public radio and baseball. He’s coached several of Ashland's outstanding youth baseball teams and served as Head Coach of the Ashland High School Varsity team in 2012.

Paul and his wife, Patti Grant, live in Ashland. They have two children, Kelsey and Evan.

JPR's website will be in transition this morning (Thursday, May 21) starting at about 9:30am as it gets a facelift to a more mobile and tablet friendly design. The new "responsive" design will optimize the site’s layout for each individual user according to the screen size of the device being used to access ijpr.org.

New Partners

May 1, 2015

During the coming months, JPR will be collaborating with the Seattle-based non-profit journalism organization InvestigateWest to produce a series of stories that explore different aspects of Oregon’s timber economy with a focus on how they play out in Southern Oregon. 

JPR's Spring Fund took place April 7-14.  

This grassroots fundraising effort is a vital element of sustaining JPR's service to the region.  Local support from listeners and businesses comprises 76% of the resources that enable us to create and broadcast our diverse schedule of programs that feed the human intellectual and creative spirit.

Thanks so much to everyone who made our drive a success, achieving our goal of $190,000.

If you missed the drive and would like to make a contribution, there's still time -- please CLICK HERE.

John W. Poole/NPR

Harkening back to the golden age of radio when radio was the dominant home entertainment medium and families gathered around elegant living room radio consoles to experience the latest episodes of Dick Tracy, The Lone Ranger or The Shadow, dramatic audio storytelling is making a comeback.  While the nostalgic days of radio are long gone, podcasts are breathing new life into the tradition of telling stories without pictures. 

Consider this:

·         Last year, Apple reported that subscriptions of podcasts through iTunes reached 1 billion.

Let There Be Music

Mar 1, 2015
Dominic Barth

I’ve written several times recently about the important role public radio plays in delivering in-depth, fact-based contextual journalism to citizens.

Perhaps less prominent and appreciated nationally is the compelling work public radio stations like JPR perform every day to help craft a dynamic and vibrant music scene within the communities they serve.  The simple truth is that music in America would sound very different without public radio.

As you may know, it's been a rough few days here at JPR on the technical front. Widespread power outages caused by last Thursday night's storm and high winds have taken JPR silent in some areas. These outages have come at a terrible time as we've also been plagued by an unrelated NPR satellite problem which is causing intermittent skipping of many live audio feeds from NPR.

Gaining Momentum

Feb 1, 2015

As I sit down to write this month’s column, we’ve just welcomed a new year.  It’s a time for all of us here at JPR to reflect on the accomplishments of the past year and set goals for 2015.  2014 was a good year here at JPR.  We grew listener support and underwriting significantly for the first year since the Great Recession.  This allowed us to strengthen our weekend programming, implement 24-hour service on all our stations, expand and improve our local news coverage, welcome a new environmental reporter to our newsroom and replace obsolete equipment at several critical transmission sites

A recent post on NPR’s All Tech Considered caught my eye. It was called Silicon Valley’s Power Over The Free Press: Why It Matters written by Elise Hu. The piece focused on how the Silicon Valley’s large tech companies, specifically Facebook and Twitter, are now controlling the distribution of the news and information people receive and pay attention to. And, as you might imagine, this is not a great thing.

Tom Magliozzi who, along with his brother Ray, hosted NPR’s Car Talk for the last 37 years, died November 3, 2014 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.  He was 77 years old.

In announcing this sad news for the national public radio community, NPR celebrated the life of one of its most popular radio personalities in a special tribute Car Talk program and in produced segments on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

A power outage on Mt. Baldy near Phoenix has caused JPR's Rogue Valley Classics and News Station KSRG (88.3) and Rhythm and News Station KSMF (89.1) to go silent.  Our engineer is on site and communicating with Pacific Power which expects power to be restored by 7:45pm.  This is the second power outage this week and we wish we could do something about it, other than wait.  Thanks for waiting with us.

Aiming High

Oct 31, 2014

Depending on the speed of the US Postal Service in delivering this month’s Jefferson Monthly to your mailbox, JPR will either be in the final days of our Fall Fund Drive or will have just completed the campaign.  As we reach out to our listeners once again to ask for your continued support, it’s always energizing to step back from the day-to-day to remind ourselves of the big picture.

JPR's Fall 2014 Fund Drive takes place from October 21st through the 28th. We hope you'll participate in this grassroots fundraising effort that helps fund JPR's service to the region.

You can make a pledge by CLICKING HERE or by calling us at 1-888-552-6191.

  • FALL DRIVE GOAL:  $190,000 (all JPR services)
  • NEW MEMBERS:  400

From all of us here at JPR, thanks so much for your support of our work!

Every spring and fall, all satellite receivers (including JPR’s) experience brief periods of high level background noise due to the alignment of the sun, the satellite and the satellite receive antenna.

The digital audio channels used in the public radio system are more resistant to solar interference than the older analog audio channels, however, the disadvantage is that when they do fail, they fail completely and without warning. The only sound is a brief chirp.

By the time you read this you may already have heard the work of a new reporter who will be working in the JPR newsroom.  Following a national search, Jes Burns has been selected as the new Southern Oregon EarthFix reporter based at JPR.  Jes comes to the Rogue Valley from Eugene where she’s worked for KLCC since 2007 as a reporter and All Things Considered host.  She’s produced some great features on environmental issues while covering KLCC’s science/technology feature beat.  Jes has also produced spot news and features as a freelancer for NPR, Sirius Radio’s

Jefferson Public Radio and the JPR Foundation invite JPR listeners and members from the greater Southern Oregon Coast area to join us for a public meeting this Friday, September 26th at 7pm at the Coos Art Museum in downtown Coos Bay (235 Anderson Ave.). The meeting is part of the JPR Foundation's commitment to hold periodic meetings around the JPR listening area to hear feedback from JPR listeners and supporters related to its service to the region.

Public radio in the U.S. is an unusual amalgamation of locally owned stations and well known national networks. Together, these stations and networks partner each day to create and broadcast programs that touch the lives of nearly 35 million weekly listeners. Listeners tend to think about public radio as “NPR” but the reality is that NPR is only one piece of the public radio puzzle.

In an age where text messages, tweets and other social media posts demand short writing, there is new focus on the benefits of getting to the point.   The Washington Post recently reported that The Associated Press (AP) has instructed its correspondents to keep stories between 300 and 500 words, citing the lack of staff at its member outlets available “to trim stories to fit their shrinking news holes” as the primary reason for this policy shift.  And, the website Talking Biz News reported that Reuters recently adopted a policy limiting most stories to no more than 500 wor

NPR recently announced a restructuring of its newsroom designed to more efficiently utilize resources while expanding editorial hubs that combine the digital and audio work of its reporters, editors, producers and bloggers around specific areas of focus.

The appropriations season is unfolding in Washington D.C. and there is both good news and bad news to report related to continued funding for public broadcasting stations around the country.

R&R For Carl

Mar 31, 2014
Photo: Tony Nagelmann

After waking up well before dawn for 30 years and flying every week to Chicago for the past 15, Carl Kasell is ready for some well-earned R&R and has announced he’s retiring this spring after a five-decade career in broadcasting. Carl will record his final broadcasts for Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me! this spring during shows that are being planned to celebrate his career in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

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