Bob Barrett

News Anchor/Reporter

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.

As well as reporting news and hosting afternoons for WUWF, Bob is the producer and host of The Best Of Our Knowledge, a syndicated program about education ... and produces podcasts for the medical journal Clinical Chemistry. He lives in Gulf Breeze with his family and is currently devising methods of keeping the squirrels off his bird feeders.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the movement to replace the Pensacola Bay Center with a new facility and how Florida and the U.S. job markets are faring after a long period of uninterrupted growth.

The Pensacola Bay Center is reaching the end of its productive lifespan and with maintenance costs rising, a group of stakeholders led by Pensacola Sports and Visit Pensacola have begun looking at replacing the building with a new multiuse facility.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the latest manufacturing numbers, the role economic incentives play in our area and why the trade deficit isn’t decreasing any time soon.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released its October report on U.S. factory orders, and the numbers were much better than expected.

“Orders are up 2.7 percent. This is the fourth month in a row that factory orders have been up,” Harper said. “We actually got an upwardly revised number for the prior month.”

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

"When I was taking classes, autism was this little paragraph in a book. not a chapter, not a whole book, it was a little paragraph." Debbie Keremes is sitting in her crowded office at the Autism Center at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital off Bayou Boulevard in Pensacola. She is the manager of the facility as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 


Fans of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me will be getting an early holiday gift this year as Paula Poundstone comes to the Saenger Theater in Downtown Pensacola for a night of stand-up. 

Paula Poundstone has been touring the U.S. since the early 80s and continues to find new places to come and, as she says, "tell her little jokes". She spoke with WUWF's Bob Barrett. Here are some of the highlights of their talk (but seriously, you really should's pretty funny stuff!)

Webster PR

At this year’s Country Music Association awards ceremony, Dolly Parton was presented a lifetime achievement award. She has already been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters hall of Fame. After the CMA’s she talked about her career. "I love what I do and I hope to be doing it from now on and I hope they don't think that because they gave me a Lifetime Achievement Award that they thought I was done!"

Northwest Florida State College

Dr. Martha Saunders is not the only new institution of higher learning president on the panhandle. Earlier this month the Northwest Florida State College Board of Trustees selected Dr. Devin Stephenson as the fourth president in the college’s 53-year history. He spoke with WUWF's Bob Barrett about his new position.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

Teaching anatomy with the use of cadavers is not limited to medical schools.  But setting up and maintaining a cadaver lab is expensive. Very expensive. Now, students at the University Of West Florida College Of Health have the opportunity to gain in-depth, hands on understanding of the human body by using synthetic cadavers. They’re called Syn-Davers. 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

The finishing touches are being put on the new YMCA facility in downtown Pensacola, getting the building ready to open its doors to members on November 7.

Melissa Shelton, a welcome center representative at the new YMCA says everything will be open "except the pool. The pool is going to be an additional two weeks." Shelton and a group of other escorts were giving tours and answering questions about the facility to the press and invited guests Wednesday morning.

photo via Flickr// Presidencia de la República Mexicana /

Open enrollment is underway for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges. 

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses an unexpected rise in new home sales, explains why it may be time to reexamine the Consumer Price Index and when BP oil spill relief funds could start funding projects in the area.

Beating expectations, new home sales rose 3.1 percent in September and Harper said that the increase shows conflicting signs in the home sale market.

Florida Prepaid College Board

Open enrollment has begun for the Florida Prepaid College Plans. Audry Liss, the Accounting Coordinator for the Student’s Account Office at the University of West Florida says bout 1,200 students are currently paying for college at UWF using a Florida Prepaid plan. And while 1,200 students may seem like a big number, it’s out of over 13,000 students, which means less than 10 percent of students at UWF are using the Florida Pre-Paid College Plan. Liss says using the plan at UWF is pretty easy.

Frank White dot com

With Representative Mike Hill leaving his seat in a failed run for the state senate, voters in Florida House District 2 will choose between two political newcomers to represent them in Tallahassee next year.

Frank White, the Republican candidate for the seat, admits this is all new to him. "I am not of professional politician. I'm a business guy. I'm a dad with three little boys. Politics is something new to me. But it is an avenue for service and a way to make a difference." 

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

A crowd of supporters came to greet the 42nd  President of the United States as he spoke in Pensacola on Saturday.

"Bill Clinton was the first president I voted for" said Susan Ensley, who was waiting in line in front of the E. S. Cobb Community Center in Pensacola hours before the event was scheduled to begin. "It makes me think of my grandmothers because both of them were born before women were given the right to vote, before the 19th amendment. And they both sort of instilled in me  the importance of voting."

Dianne Krumel

While few people expect Hillary Clinton to win Escambia County or most other areas of the panhandle, as one campaign operative said, "a vote in Pensacola counts just as much as a vote in Miami". That’s why Anne Holton, the wife of vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, appeared in Pensacola for a pair of appearances on Monday. She spoke about the concerns of veterans and their families. "Hillary is very, very committed to getting the V.A. fixed and working right. And I think that's the most important issue for vets.

University of West Florida

Martha Saunders has had a few weeks to settle in to her new position as President-Elect at the University of West Florida. She is currently serving as Provost and Executive Vice President at the school. She sat down with WUWF’s Bob Barrett.

Starships and zombies are targeting northwest Florida in February as plans for Pensacon 2017 continue to take shape. 

Many people come to Pensacon for the celebrity guests. Others for the artists and merchandise. And most for the opportunity to spend a weekend with people who share the same likes and passions and lifestyle. "It is a lot of work but it doesn't feel like work" said  Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley. "When you do something that you really, really enjoy it's never a job."


We're going to go out on a limb here and guess that, unless you’re reading one of the Harry Potter books, you haven’t given much thought to magic lately. Dr. Jason Leddington wants to change that. "One of the most interesting things about magic is that despite the fact that it's one of the most popular performing arts in the last 200 years in the west, art historians, art critics and philosophers of art have basically ignored it completely." 

Go South To Freedom

Sep 28, 2016
New South Books

An author from Mobile has written a new children’s book about a family of escaped slaves in the 1830's who found freedom by traveling south. The book is called Go South To Freedom, and it’s the work of Frye Gaillard, an author and the Writer in Residence at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He talked with WUWF's Bob Barrett about what inspired the story.

Bob Barrett



  After a busy summer, Manna Food Pantries is looking forward to stocking up for the rest of the year and getting ready to move. It was late April when the food bank announced it had closed on a new home. Now, almost 6 months later, they are still in their old location on Gonzalez Street.