Jim Engster


Every weekday Jim engages listeners with compelling discussions ranging from presidential and gubernatorial campaigns to LSU football and the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Isaac.

Jim serves as president of the Louisiana Radio Network and Tiger Rag Magazine. He's hosted the statewide offering Louisiana Live from 1998-2003 and The Jim Engster Show on the Louisiana Radio Network, previously on WRKF.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Jim has interviewed nine Louisiana governors and has reported on every gubernatorial election since 1975. He has also shared the microphone with leaders of other states including Bill Clinton of Arkansas, Jerry Brown of California and Jesse Ventura of Minnesota.

Writers Ernest Gaines, Rex Reed and Immaculee’ Ilabagiza and two actresses who spent much of their youth in the Baton Rouge area---Debbie Allen and Lynn Whitfield -- are some of Jim’s favorite interviewees.

Ways to Connect

LSU President King Alexander on the budget, the Greek System and the economic impact of LSU on the Louisiana economy. Biographer Geoffrey Mark on the enduring legacy of singer Ella Fitzgerald.

Baton Rouge Rep. Denise Marcelle on the Capitol maneuvering as the regular session starts Monday amid much conflict remaining from the collapse of the special session; Louisiana music legend Mickey Gilley is joined by fellow singer Johnny Lee to reflect on the legacy of the film, “Urban Cowboy,” which propelled them both to stardom; Veteran journalist Mark Whitaker on his critically acclaimed book about the Black heritage in Pittsburgh, “Smoketown” and Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, opines about the strained and dangerous relations the U.S. has with Pakistan.

Julie Baxter Payer sits in for Jim Engster today. Guests are Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne on the budget, Mark Ballard of the Advocate on the special session disaster and the forecast for averting the fiscal cliff and author Elaine Weiss on her book “The Woman’s Hour” about the fight for women to vote a century ago.

Craig Stevens of GAIN on the status of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. General Ron Richard, former President of the Tiger Athletic Foundation, reflects on the plight of veterans in America. Wallis Watkins, Capitol Access Reporter, on prospects for the regular session after a special collapse. Jamie Setz, Executive Director of the Capital Region Planning Commission, on the benefits of carpooling in Baton Rouge traffic. 

Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, comments on the collapse of the special session to address the fiscal cliff. Former Louisiana House Member Raymond Jetson of Baton Rouge reflects on budget battles of the past and addresses the call for more gun regulation and dealing with the mental health of young men most often involved in mass shootings. Daniel Erspamer of the Pelican Institute on the role that U.S. Senator John Kennedy is playing in the net neutrality issue that continues in Congress.

WAFB Capitol Correspondent Kevin Frey on the budget stalemate at the Capitol. Dr. Tina Holland, President of Franciscan University, on the institution’s place in a city populated by major universities. Louisiana Economist Loren Scott and Ray Keating, Chief Economist of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Council, on President Trump’s call for tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church on her work with 486 congregations in the state. Writer Jennifer Moses on her feature about Plaquemines Parish which appeared in last Sunday's New York Times. Film critic John Wirt on the 90th Annual Academy Awards event. Actress Marion Ross on her career spanning more than six decades. 

Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Ballard of the Advocate on the current impasse in the House regarding solutions to the fiscal cliff. 

Former ATF Agent Chuck Hustmyre of Baton Rouge on the raid at Waco 25 years ago today. Hustmyre, a crime writer, was part of the ill-fated mission at the Branch Davidian Compound on Feb. 28, 1993.

Former State Lawmaker Troy Hebert and Law Professor and former Louisiana Democratic Party Communications Director Susan Nelson on the move to have teachers carry guns into classrooms and the challenges facing Gov. John Bel Edwards.

History Professor Amy Bates on her book about sports and integration in a Maine city, “ONE GOAL, A Coach, A Team and The Game That Brought a Divided Town Together.”

Public Affairs Research Council President Robert Travis Scott on the second week of the special legislative session to address the looming fiscal cliff on July 1st.