Elaine Baumgartel

News Director

Elaine volunteered to answer phones during a KUNM pledge drive in 2003 and she's been unable to drag herself away from public radio ever since.  And why would she want to?  She wore many sets of headphones at the station before becoming KUNM's News Director - local anchor of NPR's Morning Edition, reporter in the KUNM newsroom, and host and producer of the KUNM Call In Show.  

As a graduate student in the Communication and Journalism MA program at UNM, Elaine completed her thesis project on the West Mesa murders and coverage of violence against women in the media.

In her spare time, Elaine likes to garden and work with ceramics in addition to spending time with her family.  

Ways to Connect

The wealth gap between white, Black, and Hispanic households in the US is getting bigger. According to a recent report by the US Census Bureau and the Pew Foundation, white households have 20 times the wealth of Black households and 18 times the wealth of Hispanic households.

Lawmakers in Washington D.C. are meeting this week to address this growing wealth inequality and here in Albuquerque leaders in the African American community are working to support black owned businesses and entrepreneurs. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel has more.

Photo via www.treehugger.com

For the 30th year, libraries across the country next week are highlighting books that some people have wanted removed from the shelves. Banned Books Week is promoted by the American Libraries Association as an opportunity to celebrate the First Amendment and freedom of speech and the press. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel has more.

Photo via www.mapresources.com

Lawmakers are into their third week of the special session on redistricting at the state Capitol. KUNM's Marjorie Childress is covering the action in Santa Fe. She joined me to discuss why Democrats are not yet working on the agenda items that were added by Republican Governor Susana Martinez. Instead they're focusing on redistricting. Marjorie Childress reports for KUNM. She is also the Editor of the New Mexico online news and views website, El Grito.

New Mexico State Legislature Webcasts

Fri. 9/23 at 8am: The birth experience can impact new moms and families in many ways, and there are benefits to birthing at home or in a birth center. What are the differences? What are the benefits? We'll discuss birthing options for women, including home birth, an out of hospital birth center, and a hospital birth center.

Host Giovanna Rossi interviews Abigail Eaves of Dar A Luz Birth Center, Annette Lindeman of Lovelace Women's Hospital, and two home birth midwives: Nandi Hill and Terry Simmons.

More info, including links to New Mexico birthing resources.

Photo via www.digitalfilmtree.com

Every Friday, we catch up on business news from around the state. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with Megan Kamerick, Senior Reporter with the New Mexico Business Weekly.

Photo via www.freefoto.com

KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with the director of an organization that assists business owners with starting and running small businesses about creating jobs.

Listen to the KUNM Call In Show

Photo via www.cameratrapcodger.blogspot.com

Conservation groups are hosting a public forum in Albuquerque Wednesday to discuss trapping of fur-bearing animals on New Mexico public lands. The state Game Commission in July lifted a ban on trapping in southwestern parts of the state where the endangered Mexican grey wolf has been reintroduced.

Photo via www.backpackingmatt.com

Each week we take a look at business news from around the state. Today, we hear from KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel. She spoke with Senior Reporter with the New Mexico Business Weekly, Megan Kamerick.


Sun. 9/11 at 11am: What is "natural" in a world where biology and engineering intersect? Biotechnology is making it easier and easier to create new forms of life, but what are the consequences when humans play with life? We travel back to the first billion years of life on Earth, take a look at how modern engineers tinker with living things, and meet a woman who could have been two people.

More info at RadioLab

Photo via www.treehugger.com

Each week we take a look at business news from around the state. Today, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with the Senior Reporter with the New Mexico Business Weekly, Megan Kamerick.


Sep 1, 2011
Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe / Smithsonian Magazine

Thurs. 9/8 at 8am: What are your childhood memories of Zozobra? Were you afraid of Old Man Gloom? Or did you yell and scream with the crowd while sitting on your mom or dad's shoulders?

Share your experiences of Zozobra by calling 277-KUNM or toll-free 1-877-899-5866. You can also email the show at callinshow@kunm.org.

More about the burning of Zozobra


Albuquerque, NM – Recently union nurses in Santa Fe voted not to strike during contract negotiations. One central issue was the question of how many patients a nurse should be in charge of at one time. California has nurse to patient ratios mandated by law. How is this policy working there?


Thurs. 9/1 at 8am: Drought has hit New Mexico hard. The state has sued the Bureau of Reclamation over water and farmers are paying to pump groundwater as river sources dry up. How is this year's drought affecting the Rio Grande River and the communities that depend on it?

Call in your comments and questions at 277-KUNM or toll-free 1-877-899-5866. Email the show at callinshow@kunm.org.


Em Hall, UNM School of Law

Thurs. 8/25 at 8am: We'll take your calls on nurse staffing levels and quality of patient care in New Mexico hospitals.

Call in your comments and questions at 277-KUNM or toll-free 1-877-899-5866. Email the show at .

Nic McPhee/Creative Commons

Thurs. 8/11 at 8am:  State Treasurer James Lewis joins us for the full hour to discuss New Mexico finances. How will the recently passed debt ceiling deal affect federal dollars flowing into the state?

Join the discussion next Thursday at 8am. Email questions to callinshow@kunm.org

Albuquerque, New Mexico – This summer, KUNM and Generation Justice have been interviewing teens, researchers and educators about what can be done to help more young people succeed in school and stay through graduation. Here are some voices of young New Mexicans and the Oye Conference, that's Organizing Youth Engagement, at the University of New Mexico last month.


Thurs. 7/21 at 8am: What's up with the state's energy conservation building codes? A version of the code requiring a 20% reduction in energy use from 2006 levels was repealed last month by a state commission, but some cities may use their own building codes. We'll host a panel discussion and take your calls live.

Email your questions today to callinshow@kunm.org.

During the show, you can call in your comments and questions at 277-KUNM or toll-free 1-877-899-5866.




Albuquerque, NM – KUNM's Trip Jennings has been covering the Las Conchas fire burning near Los Alamos. The fire is 40 percent contained after burning over 130-thousand acres and causing the evacuation of Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Albuquerque, NM –

For the latest fire information from NM Fire Info or the INCIWEB.org site.

Check out the Wildfire Latest News Interactive Map of Active Wildfires.

Albuquerque, NM – The Espanola Animal Shelter is receiving animal evacuees from the Las Conchas fire and Los Alamos. They are accepting dogs, cats and caged pets from people who have evacuated Los Alamos and surrounding areas. The shelter is serving as a staging area for poultry, horses, donkeys, goats and sheep in small numbers.

The shelter is accepting donations of dry food, non-clumping cat litter, bowls, crates, litter boxes, and towels. Volunteers may be needed for walking, cleaning, and feeding the animals.


Thurs. 6/30 at 8am: This Thursday on the Call-In Show we will discuss the fire situation in Los Alamos. Share your questions, comments and concerns, Thursday morning at 8am.

Here are the numbers to dial: 277-KUNM or toll-free 1-877-899-5866.
You can also email the show at callinshow@kunm.org.

See the KUNM homepage for useful links regarding the wildfires in New Mexico.


Albuquerque, NM – Each week we check in with reporters from the New Mexico Business Weekly on business news around the state. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel has this week's report.

Albuquerque, NM – The Wallow wildfire in eastern Arizona moves closer to the New Mexico state line. Fronteras Changing America Desk reporter Al Macias joins KUNM live from near Springerville, AZ.


Thurs. 6/9 at 8am: Smoke from the Arizona wildfires blankets New Mexico. We'll be discussing the impact on New Mexicans with meteorologists, state health officials, health care providers and fire managers.

Guests TBA

Albuquerque, NM – Each week we check in on business news from around the state. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel has our report this week.

Thurs. 5/26 at 8am: NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard takes your questions on the KUNM Call In Show.

Call in your comments and questions at 277-KUNM or toll-free 1-877-899-5866. Email the show at callinshow@kunm.org.

Photo: Jennifer Buntz/Duke City Wheelmen Foundation

Albuquerque, NM – Bicyclists of all types came out Wednesday evening in Albuquerque to honor their fellow riders who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roads. The annual event is called "Ride of Silence" and rides were held in all 50 states and in two dozen countries around the world.

KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel took part in the Albuquerque event and has this reflection.

Update: Matt Trujillo died May 26th from injuries sustained in the crash.

Albuquerque, NM – Albuquerque City Council to discuss budget, library funding.


Albuquerque, NM – Members of Congress fiercely debated funding for public radio and television in recent months. Leaders in public broadcasting stepped up to defend continued federal funding.

KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel recently sat down with Paula Kerger, the President of CEO of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service.

Kerger told KUNM that the idea of creating a commercial version of PBS is not new, and past efforts have failed to re-create the core values of PBS.

Albuquerque, NM – Local freelance journalist Laura Paskus has an article on the West Mesa murders in the Spring issue of MS. Magazine.