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 wrkf.org and the WRKF App.

Bob Marshall, veteran Louisiana outdoors reporter, will discuss issues of climate change, coastal erosion and hurricane protection as Louisiana dodged the power of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but remains vulnerable to environmental challenges.   George Bevan, former LSU All-American linebacker on a 9-1 team of 1969, recalls the day when a 5-11, 190-pound defender could be considered the best in the nation. Bevan will compare the LSU teams he starred on with those of today as the Tigers currently field a unit with 18 players above 300 pounds.

LSU Manship School Professor Bob Mann will discuss his recent column which took aim at Louisiana’s continuing problems with its economy, education and environment. Mann, who served as aide to three U.S. Senators as well as Governor Kathleen Blanco, will reflect on why Louisiana has increased less than ten percent in population in the past 45 years while the nation has gained 60 percent. Mann will also talk about the death of an LSU pledge and how the alleged hazing of Maxwell Gruver will impact the Greek system on campus.


Former Governor Buddy Roemer unveils his first book Scopena. Roemer reflects on his formative years on his family plantation in Northwest Louisiana, the segregation of the 1950s and his departure for Harvard when he was 16. This is Governor Roemer’s first major broadcast interview since he suffered a stroke three years ago.

Advocate Reporter Rebekah Allen discusses LSU’s troubled history with the Greek System that dominates its campus and the latest on the arrest of a suspect in the deaths of two African-American pedestrians who were gunned down this month in Baton Rouge.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel attacks U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy saying the senator lied about healthcare legislation. We hear from the Senator and Jimmy Kimmel. 


 Karen Fernbaugh Roy on her recovery from a shooting incident 30 years which left her unable to walk. Roy was shot outside Tabby’s Blues Box on September 19, 1987 when she was a college student at LSU after a football game in Tiger Stadium. Joyce Walker, former LSU basketball standout, on her varied career which includes a stint with the Harlem Globetrotters. Walker will be inducted in the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday.           

  EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore comments on the investigations of two tragedies last Thursday, the death of 18-year-old Max Gruver, a pledge for Phi Delta Theta, and the murder of 49-year-old Donald Smart, a 20-year employee of Louie’s Café, who was gunned down a block from the LSU campus. Baton Rouge Symphony conductor Tim Muffitt starts his 18th year as the maestro this week. Muffitt will detail the season for 2017-18 and reflect on his tenure as the longest serving conductor in the history of the symphony.        

  Pro Football Hall of Famer Jimmy Taylor of LSU recalls the first Saints regular season game of Sept. 17, 1967. Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the NFL coming to New Orleans. Pulitzer Prize winner Mike McIntire of the New York Times on “Champions Way, Football, Florida, and the Lost Soul of College Sports.” McIntire believes the business of college sports has gone awry. Legal scholars Cynthia and Sanford Levinson argue that the Constitution is flawed and that the Electoral College should be abolished.

  University of California-Davis Professor Jon Entine tried to detail ethic differences in athletic skills 17 years ago with his book, “Taboo.” The work remains controversial nearly two decades after it was published. LSU will field a football squad for its SEC opener Saturday that is 84-percent African-American with a student body with about one in ten black students. Entine will discuss why it remains taboo to recognize one race as more gifted athletically to another. Dr. Geoffrey Mount Varner, Director of Emergency Medicine at Howard University, discusses his book “Home Alive, 11 Must Rules for Surviving Encounters with the Police.” Music Critic John Wirt on the return of 70s music to Baton Rouge.

  Guest host Stephanie Riegel talks with EBR Councilwoman Barbara Reich Freiberg about tax issues the council is scheduled to review this year. Mike Olivier, the former Louisiana Economic Development Secretary, comments on prospects for business in the state and discusses his role as chairman of the Committee of 100.           

    New York Times Editor Dean Bacquet on the Times friction with President Trump, and Bacquet’s appearance next week as the keynote speaker for the WRKF event. Wall Street Journal News Editor Alex Martin, also a New Orleans native, on his induction in the LSU Manship School Hall of Fame and how his path to the Pulitzer Prize has Louisiana roots with his background as editor of the Daily Reveille at LSU and as a reporter for the Times-Picayune.

Peter Kalmus, Atmospheric Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, speaks about the impact of climate change.

Marie Constantin, veteran photographer, on her induction in the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication Hall of Fame. 

Kurt Andersen, host of Public Radio’s Studio 360, comments about his book “FANTASYLAND, How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History.”  


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