Talk Louisiana

Weekdays at 9am

Talk Louisiana connects listeners with Louisiana newsmakers through live interviews and original feature reporting. Hosted by award-winning journalist and broadcast veteran, Jim Engster, Talk Louisiana brings listener insight into the conversation by phone and email. In addition to the weekday morning broadcast, hear Talk Louisiana at and the WRKF App.

Lafayette Advertiser Editor Brett Blackledge, Pulitzer Prize winner from LSU, comments on the newspaper war in Acadiana and the Advocate takeover of the Times-Picayune. Advocate Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Ballard suveys the final days of the 2019 Legislative Session and Gov. John Bel Edwards revealing that President Trump tried to coax the Louisiana Chief Exeuctive into switching parties. Singer Ani DiFranco discusses her memoir “No Walls and the Recurring Dream” and her passion for New Orleans.

Paul Starr, Princeton Professor and founder of The American Prospect  magazine, discusses wealth disparity in the United States and elsewhere. His book is “Entrenchment, Wealth, Power, and the Constitution of Democratic Societies.” Former LSU Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope addresses the uncertainty at LSU where President King Alexander is the subject of various rumors about his departure. Eric Peterson, Pelican Institute Director of Public Policy, analyzes the Fresh Start Act that passed the Louisiana House with no dissenting votes. It removes barriers to help formerly incarcerated individuals receive occupational licenses to reintegrate to society.

EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome on the prospect of the Village of St. George, crime and other issues in her third year in office. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser on Bayou Country Superfest, tourism numbers and his personal travel. Cindy Hardy, Mother of Laine Hardy, the Livingston Parish singer who is this year’s American Idol winner.

Advocate columnist Ed Pratt opines about life in Baton Rouge north of Florida Blvd. Councilman Matt Watson comments on the prospect of the Village of St. George. Washington Post investigative political reporter Michael Kranish discusses his book about the little known story of cyclist Major Taylor.

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, and onetime lawmaker Melissa Flournoy, also former head of Planned Parenthood in Louisiana, exchange views on the 2019 Louisiana Legislative session with issues of abortion, the death penalty and the Equal Rights Amendment have taken center stage. Sports Illustrated former editor Kevin Cook unveils his new book, “Ten Innings at Wrigley, the Wildest Game Ever” about the Phillies 23-22 win over the Cubs on May 17, 1979, 40 years ago today.

Conservative Commentator Michael Medved, who is renowned as a radio host, author, columnist and film critic, comments on America in the Age of Trump. Mark Ballard, Capital Bureau Chief for The Advocate, recaps legislative action this week on hot button issues of abortion and the death penalty.

Alex Martin, Global Writing Chief of the Wall Street Journal and New Orleans native, recalls his years at the Times-Picayune and reflects on the acquisition of the newspaper by the Advocate. Father Don Kirchner and coordinator of the Spanish Apostalate in Baton Rouge, Julia Scarnato, discuss the rising number of Hispanics in the community. John Steinman, host of Deconstructing Dinner, the internationally syndicated radio show, talks about the power of food co-ops. Fred Rosenfeld, first team president of the New Orleans Jazz, compares his acquisition of Pete Maravich in 1974 to the New Orleans Pelicans receiving the first pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, destined to be Duke superstar Zion Williamson.

LSU Political Science Professor Wayne Parent joins us on his last day at the Ole War Skule after 37 years as a professor and former chair of the department. Parent is considered one of the most prominent observers and analysts of Louisiana politics and is the author of “Inside the Carnival". Former NASA historian Roger Launius remembers the first Astronauts to land on the Moon with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission two months away. Launius’ book is “Apollo’s Legacy.”

Congressman Mike Johnson, Republican from Shreveport and member of the House Judiciary Committee, says his Democratic colleagues are off base in seeking to question witnesses detailed in the Mueller Report. Barry Weinstein, Rabbi Emeritus in Baton Rouge, recaps his dramatic recovery from an aortic aneurysm three years ago and examines lack of religious tolerance in the current age. Author and former NYPD police officer Joe Ested recaps a criminal attack against an inmate in the Ascension Parish Jail, resulting in the firing of a corrections officer and resignation of the warden. Laura Schroff discusses the unlikely friendship between a New York sales executive and a homeless eleven year old boy.

Rev. Jacqueline King of Haughton, formerly pastor of First United Methodist Denham Springs, comments on Millennial love for Harry Potter. Loyola University Law Professor Bill Quigley on the failed effort to stop the death penalty in Louisiana. Deborah Sternberg updates the Young Entrepreneur’s Academy.