Fred Martino

Director of Content

Fred Martino, Ph.D. is Director of Content at KRWG, leading our efforts on radio, television, and right here at . He also serves as anchor/executive producer of the region's only television news magazine, the Emmy Award-winning Newsmakers, which airs Thursday at 7pm, Saturday at 5pm, and Sunday at 11am on KRWG-TV.

Fred was recruited by KRWG in 2008, when he joined New Mexico State University as an Assistant Executive Director of University Broadcasting and Director of Content for KRWG Public Media.  He came to New Mexico after nine years as the Director of News and Public Affairs for WGVU-TV/AM/FM at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

He holds master's degrees in communication and public administration from Grand Valley.  In addition, Fred earned a Ph.D. in educational administration with a focus on public media from New Mexico State University.  Fred's research, "Local Public Media: Qualitative Research to Guide Educational Leaders," focused on his transformational work at KRWG Public Media.

Fred’s work at KRWG began with a new commitment to digital media.  The move quickly paid dividends, as was named the best online news site in the state by the New Mexico Associated Press in 2008.  Later, we received several best website awards in our division from the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.  The region’s homepage has continued to grow and evolve, becoming one of the most active sites in the NPR Digital Services family.  In 2008, we also launched another successful digital venture, ensuring that all of KRWG-TV’s content is posted online.  Hundreds of thousands of people have watched our videos online over the last few years…and we continue to grow.

Our growth on radio and television has also been unprecedented.  We doubled our daily newscasts on KRWG-FM and added the weekly news magazine KRWG News This Week and call-in show Voice of the Public.  KRWG-TV dramatically expanded the diversity of local programming, adding Issues & Answers specials and the weekly series Newsmakers and Fronteras-A Changing America.

Fred has also led efforts to bring diversity to the airwaves and to our digital audience here at .  Diversity in our staff, in the viewpoints we present, in the people we see and hear, and in the growing range of programming we develop.  In 2012, Fred launched a new initiative with the Government department at New Mexico State University.  The result:  a panel of students participated in two televised debates with local candidates.  Additional programs with area students in a variety of disciplines continue each semester.  It’s another way KRWG is enriching the region’s educational opportunities while also bringing diversity to our programming.

With your support, we’ll continue to grow.  We also welcome your comments and story ideas anytime.  E-mail us…the address is

Thank you for helping to make KRWG one of the most innovative public media organizations in the nation.  We couldn’t do it without your help.

Michael Kirk / Frontline

The Choice 2020: Trump v. Biden premieres Tuesday at 8pm on KRWG-TV. It will be available to watch in full at and in the PBS Video App.   

Fred Martino spoke with Producer/Director Michael Kirk. 

They discuss the challenges of producing the program during such a difficult year for the nation.

There are stark differences in the healthcare platforms of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Dr. James Lenhart is a family medicine specialist in Tacoma, Washington. With over four decades in medicine, he’s seen it all.  And in 2017, he talked with KRWG News about his book “Conversations For Paco: Why America Needs Healthcare For All.”  While the story was fictional, the situations in the book caused by America’s lack of universal care are very real for millions.

And Lenhart says politics is to blame.  With politicians and others demonizing government-funded health insurance as socialism.

Gila River

The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 created the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. The Act established a policy of preserving free-flowing rivers or river segments.

Now, New Mexico U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall have introduced the M.H. Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

The Greater Gila watershed, including the San Francisco River and other main tributaries, is the largest remaining network of naturally flowing river segments in the Southwestern United States.

Senator Martin Heinrich (D) New Mexico

New Mexico U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich says Congress must approve legislation that will offer significant relief during the pandemic. 

He also talked about President Trump's executive actions related to pandemic relief, calling them inadequate.

In addition, Heinrich says Congress must take action to protect funding for the U.S. Post Office, especially considering that many more ballots will be mailed during the upcoming election.

Finally, some progress amid the gridlock.  Heinrich talked about how New Mexico will benefit from the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.

This summer, KRWG Public Media partnered with the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs to offer a special experience for a Las Cruces student.

Xavier Dominguez recently graduated from Las Cruces High School and will be attending New Mexico State University.  He got an early start on his college education this summer thanks to a paid fellowship with KRWG.

The funding was provided through the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.  Xavier previously took part in two summer programs with the Student Reporting Labs and KRWG Public Media worked with him in the Las Cruces High School broadcasting program.

Dr. Patrick Turner

A vigil will be held Friday at New Mexico State University's Las Cruces campus.  The vigil starts at 7 p.m. at the Corbett Center Student Union outdoor stage.

"Our students have been strong voices against injustice these past few weeks. They are a reminder to be smart and fearless during troubled times. We have an opportunity to support them as they raise awareness of social injustice at a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Friday, June 19, at the Corbett Center Student Union outdoor stage. This vigil is sponsored jointly by NMSU’s Black Programs and ASNMSU. It coincides with traditional Juneteenth celebrations and will include a call for voter registration," said Dr. John Floros, New Mexico State Univesity President, in a statement to the campus community.

New Mexico National Guard Youth Challenge Academy

The New Mexico National Guard Challenge Academy is accepting applications for its new cycle starting in July. 

The program serves students 16 through 18 years of age who may be at risk of dropping out of high school.  The Academy helps students obtain a GED, along with 15-24 college credits.

Fred Martino speaks with New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.  They discuss the challenges of running an election during a pandemic, New Mexico's dramatic increase in requests for absentee ballots, and the urgent need for Congress to provide funding to every state to offer mail-in and early voting options in November.

New Mexico state government has launched a series of public service announcements intended to highlight the personal stories of New Mexicans who have experienced first-hand the pain and suffering of COVID-19.

The videos underscore the importance of remaining physically distant and protecting public health.

The series is called “From the Frontline,” and features two doctors, a critical care nurse, a small business owner, and a Rio Rancho woman, Carolyn Sandberg, who lost her mother to COVID-19.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham / Office of the New Mexico Governor

Across the nation, the debate is on over when to slowly reopen the economy. 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says New Mexico is not yet at a point where it can relax social distancing measures.  Her statements came in response to President Donald Trump's announcement of an approach for states to restore normal activity. Small business owners are pleading with the Governor to ease some restrictions, as federal statistics showed another spike in unemployment. In a press conference, the Governor addressed the concern some small business owners have expressed over the fairness of allowing big box stores to operate while they have been shuttered.


  From Trust for America's Health:  Chronic underfunding of the nation’s public health and emergency preparedness systems has made the nation vulnerable to health security risks, including the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report released today by Trust for America’s Health.

The report, The Impact of Chronic Underfunding on America’s Public Health System: Trends, Risks, and Recommendations, 2020, examines federal, state, and local public health funding trends and recommends investments and policy actions to build a stronger system, prioritize prevention, and effectively address twenty-first-century health risks.

Photo by: Sam Monk, Conversion Finance

Unlike many stories, COVID-19 is affecting people in similar ways across the globe.  Fred Martino talked with former KRWG reporter Simon Thompson, who is now a financial journalist in London.  Their discussion came in a week when Queen Elizabeth II made a rare address to the nation.

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.  This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advances of science, and our instinctive compassion to heal,” said Queen Elizabeth.

In just her fifth special address to the nation in a 68-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II captured the unique nature of the COVID-19 crisis.  Across the globe, we are facing many of the same challenges.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased stress levels for many people.

Fred Martino talked with Doctor Melanie Longhurst, a psychologist with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso.

Dr. Longhurst specializes in the intersection of mental health and health concerns, primary care mental health integration, wellness, and the influence of protective factors in stress and acculturation processes.

Dr. Armando Meza, M.D. is an associate professor of medicine, associate dean for graduate medical education and chief of infectious diseases at the TTUHSC El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Universidad de Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez and practiced for more than 20 years.  He spoke with Fred Martino.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham / Office of the New Mexico Governor

New Mexico is now actively recruiting nurses from Canada. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced federal approval was given to take that step as well as activating 750 National Guard soldiers. The federal approval means the state will be reimbursed for the activation.

But personnel alone cannot overcome the crisis.  That’s why the state is working to ensure more social distancing takes place.  The numbers show the urgency of that effort.

According to state projections, New Mexico will need 2,175 intensive care unit beds at the state’s peak of infections, which could come in late April or early May. But the maximum capacity at state hospitals is just 589 ICU beds, 27 percent of what’s needed.  

El Paso is among the Texas cities increasing restrictions due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

El Paso County and the city of El Paso already had “stay at home” orders in effect.

But this week, with cases increasing and evidence of community spread, the city announced new restrictions.

Mayor Dee Margo says some people who have traveled must self-quarantine and all nonessential business activity must end.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM

  U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released a statement applauding the $2 trillion emergency COVID-19 legilation, designed to provide relief to New Mexicans grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.


For more information on the $2 trillion package, click HERE.


More information on the Tribal provisions Udall helped secure in the package can be found HERE.


A comprehensive list of Udall’s legislative actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic can be found HERE.


This week, a conversation with Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima, including a wide range of your questions.

Today, the city council unanimously approved a resoultion granting the Mayor and the Council the power to declare a state of emergency in the city.  

While this action has not yet been taken, it may be of use during the continuing pubilc health emergency.

Leora Zeitlin (left) and Emily Guerra (right)

This hour-long program celebrates a true milestone: Leora Zeitlin (Intermezzo, Thursday/Friday-2pm to 4pm) and Emily Guerra (Fiesta!, weeknights-7pm to 9pm) are marking 20 years as KRWG hosts.

Listeners reflect on memories of talking with Leora and Emily over the years, their contributions to the arts in our community, and the profound impact they've had through their love of music and public media.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) has introduced legislation designed to reduce poverty by helping both parents and their children.  

“The federal government’s current approach to poverty is simply not working well enough,” Heinrich said.

Senator Martin Heinrich says current federal programs to address poverty are not well coordinated and sometimes even have different eligibility requirements.  And he says that leaves many children and their parents behind.

To address that, Heinrich reintroduced the bipartisan Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act.

State health officials spoke in Las Cruces Thursday about the state’s response to the cononavirus threat. 

So far, most coronavirus cases diagnosed in the United States are travel-related.  But there is concern about the potential for more person-to-person transmission.  Eric Chenier is Deputy Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health.

“We are currently working to identify cases as early as possible and implement isolation procedures to prevent further spread of the virus should we have a case.  COVID-19 causes a mild illness in roughly 81 percent of those who get the disease.  Typical symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  The most heavily impacted and vulnerable populations are those who are older and those who have some other sort of illness.  Only about two percent of those who are getting sick with COVID-19 are children,” said Chenier.

Bernie Sanders/Facebook / El Paso - February 22, 2020

Before winning the Nevada caucus on Saturday, Democratic Presidential candidate U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spoke in El Paso.  

To a standing room only crowd at the Abraham Chavez Theater, Sanders said he will fight for immigration reform and remarked he would end ICE raids and Trump’s policy of detaining children.

But the focus of the speech was economic inequality, and Sanders received loud applause for promising a $15 an hour minimum wage and universal healthcare.

Dr. Nicole Burt /

Diet plays a critical role in the evolution of animals, as can we see in the beak shape of Darwin's finches. But, what is the role of diet in our own evolution? Can our evolutionary history tell us what humans should eat? And how can we know what our ancestors ate? Dr. Nicole Burt will present on her current research into human diet and how methods such as stable isotope analysis can help reconstruct past diets.

Location: New Mexico State University, Las Cruces

                    Health & Social Sciences Auditorium RM 101

Date: February 14, 2020

Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm

Everyone is welcome! Faculty, Staff, Students, the community

*Food will not be served

KRWG Public Media is thrilled to announce that Las Cruces High School Senior Xavier Dominguez was honored this week as one of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (SRL) Student Journalists of the Year.  He received the award at The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) conference in Washington, D.C.  As station sponsor for Dominguez, KRWG also received an award at the conference.

Fred Martino, Ph.D., KRWG Director of Content,  worked with with Dominguez in the Las Cruces High School broadcasting program, along with former KRWG multimedia reporters Simon Thompson and Mallory Falk.  "I was very impressed with Xavier's passion for journalism.  It has been great to see him continue to grow through the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.  And it was wonderful to see his work recognized as one of the Student Journalists of the Year," Martino said. 

Dominguez was an SRL Fellow in 2018 and returned to the Academy in 2019 as SRL’s behind-the-scenes student correspondent. His story about youth groups organizing to lower the voting age to 16 in Washington D.C. was featured in Teen Vogue. He is also featured in KQED’s Election Challenge sizzle

Dominguez says SRL has “given me such great opportunity in the journalism field and has guided me to produce stories I thought I could never do.” Xavier’s first story with Student Reporting Labs was a Bond Proposal story he produced during his sophomore year that aired on KRWG-TV's Emmy Award-winning Newsmakers.

Fred Martino interviews Janet Honek, co-author of “Love Letters from World War II: Robert W. Dalton’s WWII Service.”  From the book description:  Our parents, Robert "Bob" Dalton and Alfreda "Sandy" Dalton were part of the Greatest Generation. After Sandy passed away in 2018, Janet found a trove of letters that Bob sent during his World War II service. The letters provide an intimate first-person account of how an average GI experienced the war and its aftermath, illustrated with his original photos. The almost daily letters start with his induction in October 1944 through to his return in May 1946. Each letter begins and ends with his love for his wife and the daughter who he left behind to fight in Patton’s Third Army. In his own words, this book offers a soldier's perspective of boot camp, the battle to defeat the Third Reich, life in postwar Germany (and the U.S. Army), and relations with the family back home – and most importantly how World War II touched all their lives.

Facebook / Gavin Clarkson for Senate

On Tuesday, the Doña Ana County Commission rejected an endorsement of a so-called “Red Flag” law, a gun safety measure before the New Mexico State Legislature.

The vote was 3 to 2 against endorsing the bill.  Commissioners Lynn Ellins, Isabella Solis, and Ramon Gonzalez voted “no,” while Commissioners Shannon Reynolds and Manuel Sanchez supported the measure.

The bill would enact a law allowing extreme risk protection orders in the state.

Extreme risk protection orders, otherwise known as Red Flag Laws, set up a process to allow temporary removal of firearms from people deemed a risk to themselves or others.

As of late 2019, 17 states and the District of Columbia had enacted these laws.

Paul J. Gessing

Paul Gessing, President of the Rio Grande Foundation, says New Mexico needs to works on reforms during the 2020 Legislative session.  Gessing says making improvements to the Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) should be the top priority; he is not alone in stating that the GRT discourages investment in the state.  Gessing also says he supports a proposal to end the state income tax on Social Security; New Mexico is one of only 13 states to tax Social Security, a fact not lost on many publications that fail to put the state on lists as a good place to retire.  Gessing also says the state should reform its capital outlay process.

Bill McCamley-New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Secretary

Fred Martino talks with Bill McCamley, Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.  They discuss the state's recent "rapid hire" event, the increase in the minimum wage, growing the hemp industry, the potential for recreational cannabis should it be approved, and more.

New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Luján

The fate of nearly 700,000 DACA recipients is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Brought to the U.S. as children, they are in the U.S. legally thanks to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program started by President Obama.

The court must now decide if President Trump had the right to end the program.  


Tom Hanks is starring in the new film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” inspired by a real-life friendship between public television icon Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.  Some thoughts from our own Fred Martino.