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

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.


Albuquerque, NM – Jimmy Santiago Baca is back home in New Mexico briefly this month. In addition to catching up on his green chile consumption, the award winning poet stopped by the KUNM studios to chat with Elaine Baumgartel.


Albuquerque, NM – Tune in Thursday morning at 8 for the KUNM Call In Show. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel will host a conversation with New Mexico teachers. How are students doing? What challenges are they facing? How are teachers addressing students' needs? We'll be taking your calls and hearing stories from New Mexico classrooms- Thursday morning at 8 on the KUNM Call In Show.

Join the conversation- 505-277-5866, toll free 877-899-5866, or online by emailing callinshow@kunm.org.

Thurs. 4/14 at 8am: How are students doing? What challenges are they facing? How are teachers addressing students' needs? We'll be taking your calls and hearing stories from New Mexico classrooms.

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


Barbara Peterson - 29 years at Valle Vista Elementary school, teaches reading intervention to small groups of students

Barney Fuller - math teacher, Eisenhower Middle School

Albuquerque, NM – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano discusses border security and business with KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel.


Albuquerque, NM – Does the increase in gas prices have you eyeing that old bike in the shed thinking it might be a more attractive transportation option? Tis the season to replace tubes and lube gears.

But one Duke City couple have been using their bikes as their main mode of transportation since August of last year. KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel met up with them recently to see why it's going so well.

Albuquerque, NM – The President of the University of New Mexico made his case Monday to UNM Regents arguing an 8% tuition hike is necessary to help fill a $12 million budget shortfall.

At the end of the UNM budget summit meeting, which went on for about 8 hours, The Albuquerque Journal reports Regents told UNM administrators to keep the tuition increase to 5%. That would require an additional $3.5 million in cuts.


Albuquerque, NM – Supporters of the state women's commission are asking questions about why New Mexico's first elected female Governor Susana Martinez seems determined to get rid of it.

Albuquerque, NM – As the situation with Japan's troubled nuclear power plants continues to evolve today after the devastating earthquake there and the violent tsunami that followed, New Mexico US Senator Jeff Bingaman says he's not yet ready to pause plans for new nuclear power plants in the US. The Democrat says it's still unclear what mistakes or failures caused the explosions and release of radioactive materials into the air above Northern Japan.

Albuquerque, NM – Former Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson announced Monday, March 7, 2011, she's running for New Mexico's open Senate seat.

Albuquerque, NM – Lonna Atkeson is a Political Science professor and the Director of the Center for Democracy at UNM. She's one of the principle authors of a new report that sheds light on the state's elections system.

NM Elections Report 2010

Albuquerque, NM – Six Democratic US Senators from places like Ohio and West Virginia have co-sponsored a bill that would delay the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas regulations by two years.

Albuquerque, NM – New information about Governor Susana Martinez's Small Business Task Force was reported recently on the Center for Civic Policy's blog, clearlynewmexico.com. The Center is a non-profit organization that works to increase citizen engagement in policy debates, and Tracy Dingmann, the Center's New Media Director, is bringing her experience as a newspaper reporter to her blogposts. Dingmann spoke with KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel.

Albuquerque, NM – Two thirds of voters surveyed in New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah said current environmental laws are either not strong enough or should be better enforced.

David Metz is one of the pollsters. "It's a real ratification that the level of environmental protection that is present in the region is one that voters are comfortable with and want to see continue," he says. Eleven percent of voters surveyed said they want to see environmental regulations rolled back or eliminated.

Albuquerque, NM – The 112th Congress convenes Wednesday, January 5, 2011, and Republican members of the House already have plans to repeal the nation's new health care law.

A full repeal is expected to pass with support from the new Republican House majority but the effort is largely a symbolic one. The measure has little chance in the Democratic controlled Senate and it would surely be vetoed by President Obama.

Albuquerque, NM – Photos of unidentified women released recently by Albuquerque police may have been disturbing to some. Officials say the women might have information about the West Mesa murders investigation. Police say they want to make sure the women are safe, but media critics say the images dehumanize women.

Albuquerque, NM – The upcoming legislative session in January promises to be contentious as lawmakers deal with a $400 million budget shortfall. We take a look at tax expenditures and the prospect of using tax policy to increase state revenues.

Albuquerque, nM – First District US Representative Martin Heinrich voted for the House Amendment. He says Republicans in the US Senate are holding middle class Americans hostage in order to ensure the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

"I don't understand why we can't ask some of the richest Americans to go back to a tax structure that was very successful in the late 90s at balancing our budget and growing our economy." Says Heinrich.

Albuquerque, NM – Over 200-thousand New Mexicans will be eligible for tax credits in 2014 according to a new analysis of the health care overhaul by the advocacy group Families USA.

The report is called Lower Taxes, Lower Premiums and it looks at how much money low and middle income New Mexicans will save when the new health insurance tax credit goes into effect.

Art Gardenswartz

Albuquerque, NM – On a date that only comes once a century, events around New Mexico and the nation will draw attention to what many consider the problem of the century. 10-10-10 events are set for this Sunday, October 10th to focus on fighting climate change.


Albuquerque, NM – No politician's legacy is set in stone or even immediately obvious at the end of a term. We wanted to reflect on some of the issues that could impact Governor Bill Richardson's legacy. He has served as New Mexico's top elected official for the past eight years.

Jean-Luc Cartron

Albuquerque, NM – If you've spent any time driving in New Mexico, you've probably seen the silhouette of a hawk or an eagle perched atop a utility pole or gliding against a blue sky. There are a wide range of eagles, hawks, kestrels, owls and falcons that live in or migrate through New Mexico.

Albuquerque, NM – Personal incomes have gone up in New Mexico, despite the economic downturn, but it's not because wages have increased.

According to USA Today analysis of national economic data, people made less money in many states during the recession as personal incomes declined. In New Mexico, government programs led to a growth in personal incomes even through the worst of the recession.

Photo: Laura Paskus

Albuquerque, NM – A program that serves women who get out of jail and have no where to go serves people who share life experiences with the West Mesa murder victims.

Albuquerque, NM – Media coverage of the West Mesa victims raises questions about representation and journalism ethics.