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

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.

Wilson Will Run for GOP Senate Nomination

Mar 7, 2011

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.

Repeal of Healthcare Law Unlikely

Jan 4, 2011

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.

absolute_nt via Flickr / Creative Commons License

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.

Photo: Laura Paskus

Albuquerque – Albuquerque police say the investigation into who killed 11 women and buried their remains on the West Mesa is still ongoing a year and a half later. Families of the victims are coping in different ways.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel talked with Senior Reporter Megan Kamerick about business news from around the state.

Santa Fe, NM – According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, Alvord, Kaune and Larragoite schools would be consolidated into the old Alameda middle school. The plan is expected to save $1 million for the district. However, the controversial closing of Acequia Madre Elementary school would be postponed to allow time for planning.

In addition, the Board plans to increase class sizes, reduce staff, cut some sports, fine arts, special education programs and eliminate some double dippers who earn salaries in addition to their pensions.

Albuquerque, NM – The Albuquerque Journal reports workers filled meeting chambers and overflow rooms on Thursday night. Workers expressed concern that pay cuts combined with increases in health care costs would be greater than Berry administration officials suggested.

With tax revenue down around 8 percent this fiscal year, city officials told councilors the city should cut salaries in order to avoid raising taxes or cutting basic services. Berry's administration pointed out that city workers had received raises in recent years.

Albuquerque, NM – In celebration of Earth Day, the Rio Grande Nature Center is hosting events on Saturday intended to get people out into nature. Participants in the BioBlitz event will participate in a one-day concentrated effort to do a biological inventory of the plants, insects, and animals in the Rio Grande Bosque in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM – This week, KUNM's Elaine Baumgartel spoke with reporter Matthew Reichbach about news from around the state.

Albuquerque, NM – School boards in Albuquerque and Santa Fe are saying that teacher layoffs and school closures may be necessary.

New Mexico U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman has co-sponsored legislation that he says could relieve some financial pressure the economic downturn has placed on school officials.

He said, "I don't think education is something that you want to fund just when the economy is strong you want to fund it all the time."

Santa Fe, NM – The Santa Fe New Mexican reports more than 150 people attended the meeting to voice their concerns. Several of the more contentious options on the table include proposals to consolidate smaller schools and to cut salaries for teachers.

Some of last night's speakers spoke out against closing smaller schools like Acequia Madre Elementary School. Others called for teachers' pay to be preserved and for the board to look for savings by cutting administrative staff salaries.