A favorite with South Florida listeners since January, 1999, WLRN’s "Topical Currents" program ends on Sept. 28 with the retirement of host Joseph Cooper. But WLRN's commitment to bringing entertaining and informative discussions to our afternoon audience will continue with a new program, hosted by Luis Hernandez.
“We are indebted to Topical Currents creator and host Joseph Cooper and co-host Bonnie Berman for their years of service to WLRN and our community," said Peter J. Maerz, WLRN director of radio programming. "We look forward to building on the strong performance of 'Topical Currents' with the creation of our new program.”
In the more than 18 years that Topical Currents has been on the air, there have been some 4,700 editions of the one-hour program. Regional history has been at the forefront, with some 50 produced editions of the “South Florida History Quiz” with Dr. Paul George. "At Your Service" programs with callers asking questions of local experts ranging from HOA law to pet care were popular with listeners, as was Food & Dining segments with chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer.
While Cooper, a Missouri native, is looking forward to retirement, Berman will remain at the station in a new role as pledge producer for WLRN Radio and Television.
WLRN’s new program will debut at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 2. It will air Monday through Thursday each week.
A joint initiative of WLRN’s Programming and News Departments, the program will retain the elements which made "Topical Currents" as popular with South Florida listeners as nationally produced programs such as NPR’s “Fresh Air” and “Here & Now," and build on that foundation to create an enhanced listening experience and community engagement.
“This new opportunity will allow WLRN to continue its legacy of excellence by broadening our "sense of place storytelling and journalism’ between and among South Floridians,” said John Labonia, general manager of WLRN.
"Luis is a top-notch journalist and skilled interviewer," said Tom Hudson, WLRN 's vice president of news. "Our new program with Luis will explore issues -- big and small -- that are meaningful to South Florida. It will connect the community with local and regional news and personalities beyond mere soundbites, providing deeper understanding and substance that our audience has come to expect from WLRN."