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.

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Tuned In
11:07 am
Fri March 1, 2013

The Big Picture

Margaret Low Smith is NPR Senior Vice President for News.

Running the day-to-day activities of a pretty complicated public radio network can be downright consuming. Each day, there are programs to produce, transmitters to fix and money to be raised. Through the buzz of daily work here at JPR, it’s sometimes easy to forget the part we play in a bigger public radio community. A recent email from NPR Senior Vice President for News, Margaret Low Smith, made me step back to put that bigger picture in focus and I thought I’d share portions of her communication with you.

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Service Impairment
7:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Solar Interference: March 1-5

followthewire.com

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.

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Tuned In
11:25 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Beyond the Cliff

At the dawn of the new year, the U.S. Congress approved and the President signed H.R. 8: The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 – averting the so-called “fiscal cliff.” What does this mean for public broadcasting and JPR? Since the legislation includes a two-month delay to sequestration, the mandatory cuts that would be imposed if no compromise could be reached, it delays the estimated 8.2% or $36 million cut to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) that would have gone into effect on January 1 as a result of sequestration.

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Tuned In
11:31 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Challenges and Opportunities in the Digital Age

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

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Tuned In
11:37 am
Sat December 1, 2012

The NPR Ante

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.

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Tuned In
12:42 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Roasting Big Bird (and NPR)

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.

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Tuned In
12:45 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

A New Chapter

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).

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Tuned In
12:54 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Why JPR Matters

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:

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Tuned In
12:58 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Moving Forward

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.

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