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.

Legendary Political Consultant Ray Strother on the politics of gun control and actions Congress will take in light on the tragedy in Florida which left 17 people dead last week. Chrissy Gregg of the WWII Museum in New Orleans on African-American contributions to the War. Former Vanderbilt basketball great Bob Dudley Smith on a memorable fight he had with former LSU Coach Dale Brown 44 years ago in Baton Rouge. Tonight, there will be a reunion at the PMAC.

Baton Rouge Symphony Conductor Tim Muffitt on a major performance this Thursday at the River Center. Former Louisiana Budget Director Steve Winham on the budget chaos at the Capitol with a special legislative session starting today. Author Mark Lipton on his book, “Mean Men.” Lipton says there is a troubling psychology behind some of America’s most famous men.

LSU Law Professor Phillip Hackney on the new tax law’s impact on non-profit organizations. Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Ballard of the Advocate on the upcoming special session. LSU’s most decorated gymnast Susan Jackson and former Tiger gymnast Malia Mathis on the revelation that Dr. Larry Nassar sexually assaulted 250 female gymnasts. Nassar has been sentenced to what  amounts to life in prison for his crimes.

Joseph Califano, former U.S. Secretary of Health, on his latest work: “Our Damaged Democracy.” Califano will address what he views as a crisis in American government and discuss Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida school that left 17 people dead. Veteran journalist Michael Finkel on his latest target, the last American hermit. Author Anthony Davenport on the importance of being vigilant about credit scores.

Brian Moscona, President of Christo Ray Baton Rouge, on the first Catholic High School to open in Baton Rouge in decades…and Monique Scott-Spaulding, a corporate supporter of Christo Ray. I will make note that the school is a WRKF underwriter. Former state House member Melissa Flournoy and LSU Shreveport Political Scientist Jeff Sadow assess the fates of Gov. John Bel Edwards and President Trump.

Former EBR Councilman Darrell Glasper and commentator Tony Brown on the presidency of Donald Trump and the governorship of John Bel Edwards. President Trump found opposition from both Republican U.S. Senators from Louisiana in last week’s budget vote, and Governor Edwards faces a daunting task getting lawmakers to reach a consensus on the state budget. Legal scholar Bryan Garner on his book about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died two years ago today. Garner is the author of “Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia.”

Dr. John Kirwan, Director of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, on groundbreaking research on Diabetes at the Baton Rouge facility. George Judy from Swine Palace on the latest production, “Arcadia,” premiering this week at the Shaver Theatre. Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser on the state’s new slogan, “Feed Your Soul,” and the importance of Mardi Gras to tourism in Louisiana. Irish Poet Tom Malmquist on a deeply personal account of loss.

Past President of the Baton Rouge and Louisiana Bar Associations Darrel Papillion discusses the Trump judicial nominees, the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the state of the legal profession in Louisiana with 23-thousand attorneys. World record holding runner Julie Welles Hawkins celebrates her 102nd birthday with us and discusses the release of her memoir; “It’s Been Wondrous.” Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Ballard of the Advocate provides the forecast for a potential special session to address the budget.

Lanny Davis, White House Counsel to President Clinton, on the impact on the 2016 election of former FBI Director James Comey. Davis is the author of “The Unmaking of the President 2016.” Whistleblower Dan Collins on the State Ethics Board dismissing his eight year complaint against former Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angell in connection with a long-running lawsuit over dredging in Bayou Postillion in the Atchafayala Basin.

Dr. Rebekah Gee, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, on the influenza outbreak, the opioid crisis and budget woes for the state’s largest agency. Mary Stein, assistant director of the EBR Library, on the One Book One Community launch and other developments with the library system.