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.  In 2021, the New Mexico Broadcasters Association named KRWG-FM "Station of the Year" and honored KRWG-TV with a statewide election coverage award.

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.

Fred Martino talks with New Mexico U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján about the infrastructure bills being debated in Congress.

How would New Mexico benefit if the legislation is approved?  

The Senator also says there's a need for reform in the repeated contoversy over fights to increase the debt limit.

This week, KRWG-TV’s Newsmakers will broadcast a documentary about education during the pandemic.  The documentary was produced by Noah Raess of Las Cruces.  The recent Centennial High School graduate will attend New Mexico State University this fall as a Journalism major.

The program, which also includes an interview with Raess, will be broadcast Thursday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m., and Sunday at 11 a.m.  It is available on-demand at this link.

Raess interviewed a variety of students from area schools who discussed remote learning, the loss of activities during the pandemic, and their hopes for the future.

U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.)

  Washington, D.C. – Following the passage of the Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act through the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) met virtually with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocates from across the nation and New Mexico. Senator Luján, with the co-sponsorship of Senators Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), secured the inclusion of the RIDE Act in the Commerce-passed Surface Transportation Investment Act.

The RIDE Act would promote the development of advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology and require auto manufacturers to implement this technology in new car models. In a July 2020 study, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that more than 9,400 drunk driving deaths could be prevented each year if drunk driving prevention technology is made standard on every new vehicle.

U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in a win for President Joe Biden. But even as Democrats savor that major step, party leaders are trying to assure progressives that they’ll revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage. The bill passed early Saturday on a near party-line vote and would steer cash to individuals, businesses and states battered by COVID-19. Now it goes to the Senate. Democrats there seem bent on resuscitating their minimum wage push, and other fights could erupt, too. Democrats say the still-faltering economy and rampaging virus demand action, but Republicans call the legislation bloated and partisan.

National Archives

KRWG Public Media will present a six-part series on New Mexico’s rural heritage in collaboration with New Mexico State University.  The series will air on KRWG News This Week, which is broadcast Saturdays at 5 p.m. on KRWG-FM 90.7.  The series will air following the show’s regular segments covering the week’s top stories. 

Each week, the series will highlight a different topic, beginning with “daily life” on February 20.  The additional topics include: Education (February 27), Farming (March 6), Commerce (March 13), Religion & Health (March 20), and War (March 20).

The New Mexico Health Secretary-designate spoke with reporters on Tuesday about the rollout of the first approved COVID-19 vaccine.

New Mexico will get more than 17,500 doses as part of the first phase of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine distribution.

Dr. Tracie Collins says frontline healthcare workers will be the first to get the vaccine, followed by staff and residents of long-term care facilities.

El Paso mobile morgue / Claudia Silva-New Mexico In Depth

COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the region, and El Paso is one of the hardest hit areas in the country.

City officials say contact tracing reveals shopping at big box stores is a leading source of new coronavirus cases in the city.

Mayor Dee Margo talked about the research.
"And what we discovered is that 55.11 percent of our positives were coming from shopping at large retailers," said Margo.     

Dwight Kealy

Following each Presidential election, the media talks about "red" and "blue" states.  But in most cases, that's highly misleading.  

Yes, it's true that the electoral college system generally allocates all electoral votes to the candidate who wins a state's popular vote (Maine and Nebraska also allocate electoral votes by individual Congressional districts).  But it's hardly accurate to call a state "red" or "blue" when the winning candidate captures 51 percent of the electorate.

Moreover, calling a state "red" or "blue" associates that state with Republican or Democratic policies.  So, what to make of Florida?  About 51% of voters there chose Donald Trump for President. But 61% voted for a $15 minimum wage, a policy almost universally derided by Republican politicians.

Fred Martino talks with Dr. Nancy Baker, professor emeritus in the Department of Government at New Mexico State University.

From President Trump's statements about the election to voter suppression, Dr. Baker assesses the threats to democracy in the United States.

On the premiere of KRWG News This Week, our program is dedicated to Election 2020.  Fred Martino looks at the New Mexico U.S. Senate race and the 2nd District Congressional contest, one of the closest House races in the nation.  Fred also examines the healthcare and Social Security plans of President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden.

We'll also hear from young voters, members of New Mexico State University's College Democrats and College Republicans.

And, we'll travel across the border, where asylum seekers are closely watching the Presidential race.

That and much more in this unprecedented election preview.

While Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to strengthen Social Security, President Trump has not released such a plan, and has also proposed cuts.

President Trump has repeatedly said he would not cut Social Security.

But when asked if he would cut entitlements in a Fox town hall, he said he would.

  Friday, October 16 is the UNM College of Pharmacy Community Outreach Day. 

Fred Martino talked about the effort with UNM College of Pharmacy student Miguel Lopez.

KRWG-TV broadcasts this week’s KOB debate in New Mexico’s U.S. Senate race on Friday at 8 p.m.

The candidates’ views on healthcare may tell voters a lot about their political philosophy.

KRWG-TV presents this week’s KOB-TV debate between the candidates running in New Mexico’s Second District Congressional race on Thursday at 7 p.m.

It’s the second battle between incumbent Democratic Congresswomen Xochitl Torres Small and former state legislator Yvette Herrell.

Torres Small beat Herrell in 2018 by less than two percent, just a few thousand votes.

And this year, a recent poll sponsored by the Albuquerque Journal found the race too close to call.

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.