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.

Stories And Grace

Nov 1, 2015

On the morning after the horrific mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg I listened to Morning Edition intently to learn more about the tragic events of the previous day.  That morning NPR aired a StoryCorps segment that reminded me of the power of personal stories to put in context even the darkest reaches of the human experience.

Making Radiowaves

Oct 1, 2015

This past summer has been an active time here at JPR as we’ve been addressing both long and short term issues that impact our service to the region.  I thought I’d take a moment to update you on some of those recent developments.

Jackson County News And Information Service Gets FM Frequency

After about a year of concentrated effort to acquire and construct an FM translator for our News and Information Service in Jackson County, we were finally successful and able to begin service on 102.3FM in mid-September.  

JPR's News and Information Service is now available on 102.3FM in the Rogue Valley! After nearly a year of concentrated effort to acquire and construct an FM translator for our News and Information Service in Jackson County, we began service today. Broadcasting is a highly regulated industry and the effort to make this happen was multi-layered, requiring extensive legal and technical work and the joint support of Southern Oregon University and the JPR Foundation.

I’m writing this on the day of the first debates between candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination. When I walked into our studio this morning one of our staff members was commenting with surprise that the debates weren’t accessible online without a Fox News Channel subscriber password. I must confess, before today I haven’t paid a great deal of attention to how the debates were being made available to the public.

In the fall of 2014, NPR announced plans to restructure its newsroom with the goal of de-emphasizing the isolated work of single beat reporters. Instead, NPR envisioned a more interdisciplinary approach to covering important national and international issues with reporters capable of exploring those issues from numerous vantage points. For instance, NPR reduced the number of dedicated environmental beat reporters and made it the job of every reporter, regardless of their beat, to explore and report on environmental issues as part of their work.

Stuart Mullenberg

This American Life creator Ira Glass recently caused a ruckus in public media circles when he told a reporter covering an April event designed to attract potential podcast funders: “My hope is that we can move away from a model of asking listeners for money and join the free market. I think we’re ready for capitalism, which made this country so great. Public radio is ready for capitalism.”

Public media idealists bristled at the notion, lighting up social media sites to criticize Glass for selling out.

All Things JPR

Jun 1, 2015
Sue Jaffe

It’s been a busy time here at JPR and I thought I’d take a moment in this month’s column to provide listeners a quick summary of recent developments.

                                                       Spring Fund Drive

We completed our Spring Fund Drive in April and, as usual, it was a wild ride.  It took us a few extra hours past our 8pm deadline on the last night to reach our $190,000 goal and over half of the funds we raised were pledged during the last two days of the drive.  As important an accomplishment as reaching our goal, was the fact that we significantly increased the number of sustaining members from 26% of our supporters to 32%.  This huge jump will have a positive impact on our operations in the months ahead, lowering our overall fundraising costs and evening out cash flow to fund our expenses.  With April now behind us, we’ll continue to work with listeners mostly off air during May and June to raise $140,000 in order to reach our annual listener support goal for our fiscal year which ends on June 30th. We appreciate the generous support and many comments about how much listeners value our service.

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

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.