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.

In November, NPR and the regional public radio organizations around the nation convened a meeting that I believe will be important in charting a course for the future of public radio. Much of the meeting focused on the sizzling pace of technological change taking place for consuming media content and how stations can and must adapt to providing content in this brave new world. There were three takeaways from the meeting:

Go Local

The NPR Ante

Dec 1, 2012

As sure as the leaves turn and the snap of winter returns to the State of Jefferson, comes JPR’s annual dance with the national public radio networks for rights to carry the national programs you hear each day on JPR. Each year I hope the conversation with NPR and the other national networks goes a little easier and makes more sense for JPR and its listeners. And, each year I leave these conversations sorely disappointed.

In the first Presidential debate of 2012, Governor Mitt Romney said that he would end federal funding for public broad­­casting.

Such a step would be a game changer for stations like JPR, which relies on federal support as a critical component of the diverse funding sources that enable us to serve our listeners. To be clear, federal funding amounts to about 13% of JPR’s annual budget. But, that amount is an absolutely essential element of our ability to operate, equaling roughly the amount we raise each year from both our fall and spring on-air membership drives.

A New Chapter

Oct 1, 2012

In late August, the JPR Foundation (JPRF) and Southern Oregon University (SOU) reached an agreement on a new organizational structure to operate Jefferson Public Radio (JPR).

Why JPR Matters

Sep 1, 2012

As members of the JPR Foundation board and Southern Oregon University leaders have been engaged in discussions during the past several weeks about how best to govern JPR, I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on the value of what we do each day and why it’s important. As I’ve listened to numerous stakeholders who care deeply about JPR’s service to the region convey their goals for our organization, it seems to me the essence of our mission and our work boils down to a few core concepts:

Moving Forward

Aug 1, 2012

The dispute between the JPR Foundation (JPRF) and Southern Oregon University (SOU) over how JPR should be organized and governed has been front and center in recent weeks. The current status of the conflict is that a 90-day “cooling off period” has been brokered by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s office during which a second round of mediation between the two parties will be conducted with the goal of finding common ground and developing solutions to the disagreement.