Bob Conrad

Contributor and Media Partner

Bob Conrad, PhD, APR is a media professional with more than 20 years of experience in journalism, public relations, marketing and publishing. He's the co-founder of ThisisReno.com, a locally owned and operated online news website. The site won the 2011 Judge's Choice Award from the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, as well as a Silver Spike Award from the same organization.

Bob completed his doctoral dissertation in 2011 from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he researched how the news media cover higher education institutions[gradworks.umi.com] in times of crisis, taking a look at the differences among blog content, traditional news media and niche news media. 

He has also authored a number of articles, publications and a few books. Bob's previous PR blog received an “Editor’s Pick” from the U.K. Journalism.co.uk[Journalism.co.uk]and his work has been featured in Information Week, Bulldog Reporter, eSkeptic, PRSA’s TACTICS and others.

In 2015, Bob was selected to train at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism's Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

 

A whale sculpture made out of stained glass panels.
Bob Conrad / ThisisReno

The Space Whale, which is currently located by the BELIEVE sign on Reno’s city plaza, may need to find a new home soon. The sculpture's lease is up at the end of this month. ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad, who has been following this story, met with KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck to discuss what the possible next steps are.

Washoe County School Bus
Carla O’Day

Washoe County School District (WCSD) has a critical shortage of school bus drivers. The unemployment rate is low in the Reno-Sparks area, at 3.2 percent, and there is fierce competition for qualified employees. The district is seeking qualified people in the community to apply for school bus driver positions.

Truckee Meadows Community College is canceling its lease at its Keystone Avenue Performing Arts Center. As first reported in ThisisReno last year, TMCC is not renewing its lease at the Keystone location for financial and safety reasons. Although considered by the college as far back as 2015, TMCC President Karin Hilgerson surprised faculty last year by quietly deciding not to renew the lease. 

Barriers stand up against a body of water.
Bob Conrad / This is Reno

Washoe County commissioners are taking steps to contain Lemmon Valley’s Swan Lake to a specified boundary, although county staff have cautioned that a solution to flooding in that area hasn’t been identified and funding questions remain. To learn more, KUNR’s News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Bob Conrad, the publisher of ThisisReno, to learn more about this issue.

Amrtrak train tracks along Truckee
ThisisReno

Last May, 22-year-old Aaron Salazar was found severely injured along the train tracks in Truckee. While his recovery continues, Amtrak has released little information about its ongoing investigation into what happened.

For the latest update, KUNR's Michelle Billman checked in with Bob Conrad, publisher of ThisisReno, who has kept in touch with Salazar and his family.

Reno City Flag
ThisisReno

The lawsuit against the City of Reno for the alleged harassment and retaliation against two former employees is continuing, and new revelations are still emerging. Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been following this story and gave an update to KUNR News Director Michelle Billman.

Washoe County School District Administrative Building on a sunny day.
Carla O’Day of ThisisReno

A former administrator at Hug High in Reno has been vocal about her battle with the Washoe County School District for her job. Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been following this story and spoke to KUNR News Director Michelle Billman about recent developments.

Brown water from the Truckee River floods a staircase so that only the railings are visible.
Ty O'Neil

The Washoe Board of County Commissioners has approved language for a ballot measure that would increase property taxes for Truckee River flood mitigation. Voters will decide in November. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

Amtrak tracks near Reno
Photo Credit: ThisisReno

The parents of a 22-year-old Amtrak passenger who was found critically injured near the train tracks in Truckee are disputing Amtrak's conclusion that he likely tried to kill himself. Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman told reporters earlier this week that Aaron Salazar's injuries appear to be the result of an attempted suicide. Salazar's family members fervently disagree and say they are concerned that the incident may have been a hate crime since Aaron is gay.

Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been covering this story. He spoke with our News Director Michelle Billman to share the latest details.

ThisisReno.com

The homeless shelters in Reno are full, with lines out the door, and temperatures are dropping. Our contributor Bob Conrad has been covering this issue for a ThisisReno podcast called Solutions. In the latest episode, he spoke with Reno Councilwoman Neoma Jardon about her efforts to build a tiny home village to help some of the city's chronically homeless residents. This is an excerpt of their conversation.

Waste Management

Some Reno business owners, like Mark McKinnon, are getting letters telling them that they are in violation of city ordinances because they are not using the company Waste Management to haul their trash and recycling. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been reporting on this situation and gave the latest update to our News Director Michelle Billman.

The actions mark an effort to solidify Waste Management’s exclusivity as the area’s waste hauler.

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno is exploring new rules for cannabis facilities in order to address the issue of nuisance odors. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

It’s an attempt to get regulations in place when they become permanent, said City Code Enforcement Manager Alex Woodley. “(The ordinances will) replicate what Las Vegas passed.”

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno is considering controversial vagrancy ordinances that prohibit specific behaviors. Critic argue that the new rules would target the homeless. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno has given tentative approval to a project that would create a pipeline of treated effluent to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center which houses companies like Tesla and Switch. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to our contributor Bob Conrad if ThisisReno to learn more.

The water is needed for Switch, Tesla and other businesses at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC).

Switch brought heavy-hitter “water czar” Pat Mulroy, formerly of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, to testify for the agreement, which mostly met with favor among council members.

Kaitlin Godbey / Travel Nevada

A 200-mile trail from Reno to Gerlach is being proposed to highlight Washoe County’s cultural, historic, and artistic elements. With $75,000 in grant funds from the the National Endowment for the Arts, Washoe County, working with Burning Man, envisions the trail to pass through Reno-Sparks, small towns, and tribal lands into Gerlach.

Joe Sale Photography

Reno is becoming the new home for a large, so-called Space Whale sculpture. Our News Director Michelle Billman chatted with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

The sculpture is a life-size representation of a humpback whale mother and her calf. There were roughly 1,700 individual glass panels installed in this ambitious piece of public art.

The project is paid for out of the city’s portion of room tax funds that go into the city’s arts budget. 

ThisisReno.com

Reno City Council members are voicing frustration at a lack of progress on the issue of affordable housing. Our contributor Bob Conrad covered their last meeting and has the latest update for our News Director Michelle Billman. 

Bob Conrad courtesy of ThisisReno.com

Homeowners in the Wild Creek community are considering legal action to prevent a land transfer that would allow the Washoe County School District (WCSD) to build a high school on the Wildcreek Golf Course. Our News Director Michelle Billman breaks down the details with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.

The homeowners are considering legal action to prevent the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) from transferring to the Washoe County School District (WCSD) the Wildcreek Golf Course for construction of a new high school.

Washoe County

So far, Washoe County has spent just over $3 million to clean up after historic flooding during the winter, and another $6 million in repair and capital improvement costs still remain to be covered. Our News Director Michelle Billman breaks down the situation with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.

ThisisReno.com

One bill signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval during the recent legislative session will help preserve the Hillside Cemetery in Reno and all historic cemeteries. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more. 

The law (AB203) restores local government oversight of cemeteries, and it requires a government entity “to make determinations before a cemetery authority may order the disinterment and removal of human remains.”

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