Bonnie Berman

Host Topical Currents

She's been heard in many pledge drives, dating back to May of 1989, when she began as a volunteer reader at the WLRN Radio Reading Service. While managing the "Clayspace" Art Gallery at the South Florida Arts Center, she came to WLRN to read for the RRS, when a dear friend became blind in his illness, and began using the service. At that time, Bonnie was a frequent newspaper reader on the main channel and each week reading her treasured New Yorker magazine for the benefit of the print-handicapped audience, among which was her friend.

It didn't take long for her to be noticed. Soon she was voicing underwriting credits, station promotional announcements and other work. She narrated an hour-long radio documentary about the homeless in South Florida. She pitched in tirelessly during the on-air fundraising drives.

Next, she became a frequent voice on sister-station, WLRN-TV while continuing her radio work, and filled in as a local host on both Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Not an easy task. During this period, she also conducted many interviews for Topical Currents with artists, musicians and others in, or related to, South Florida's burgeoning arts community.

Soon, Bonnie's talents were recognized by a broader community. While continuing at WLRN, she began working as an on-air personality at WTMI, South Florida's classical music station. Her program, "Music of the Night" heard weeknights from 7 to midnight, consisted of classical music with more popular fare, blended with listener dedications and requests. It was entertaining late night radio, which was discontinued after the sale of WTMI to Cox Broadcasting.

Not long after, Bonnie was made the permanent local host for WLRN's Morning Edition, while continuing her voice-over work for both radio and television. She held this position until her love for classical music beckoned once more.

In an effort to provide classical music to the aching South Florida community, WKAT attempted to pick up where WTMI had so abruptly left off. Bonnie was sought out by WKAT where she was program director and host of the morning drive "Classical Morning" Show. Sadly for classical music lovers, WKAT - on the AM frequency did not survive.

Bonnie returned to WLRN in the position of midday host, from 10 AM - 2 PM weekdays, technical director for Topical Currents, and once again the "voice" of WLRN radio. She is "thrilled to be back home" and adds a special note of appreciation to Joseph Cooper, who first recognized her talents nearly two decades ago, paving the way for a beloved career in broadcasting.

Ways to Connect

(10-24-2016) When Hurricane Matthew flirted with landfall at the tip of the peninsula this month, you probably tuned to a broadcast signal for information.

On today’s Topical Currents we discuss Florida broadcasting history, via the book, Towers In the Sand, with its author, Donn R. Colee, Jr.

The 1st radio broadcast station in the state was Tampa’s WDAE, in 1922.  Miami’s WTVJ Channel 4 was the first TV outlet, in 1949.  And WIOD Radio was founded by pioneer Carl Fisher, in 1926. 

(10-20-2016, rebroadcast) Topical Currents Food & Dining with resident chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer.

Linda gives a report of the big industry convention called the Fancy Food Show, a gargantuan event held each year in New York City.

It's where new trends in the food industry are most likely to begin.

(10-19-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is about Bonnie's favorite full-time pastime:  Cats.

If you love kitties as much as she does, don’t miss the nation’s most insightful feline observer, Pam Johnson-Bennet.  Her latest book about them is CATWISE:  America’s Favorite Cat Expert Answers Your Cat Behavior Questions.

You’ll learn her original “think like a cat” approach .

(10-18-2016) Topical Currents is our radio home for history, and Today’s fits the bill . . .

We visit with historian Dr. Paul George of History/Miami, and learn all about South Florida in the decade of . . . the 1950s.

Think “Ike,” post-war housing and air conditioning . . . plus the Interstate, hula-hoops, poodle skirts, and of course, rock ‘n’ roll.

(10-17-2016)  Today is our Topical Currents “Members Only” edition, when hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman discuss the benefits of South Florida public radio membership.

We always have a good time chatting with many steadfast members who make our unique radio programs possible.

Lynn Parks Lynn Parks Photography via Miami Herald

(10-13-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is devoted to the South Florida restaurant industry . . . and why some establishments prosper . . . while some with admirable cuisines and service fail.

Chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer visits with successful restaurateurs Steve Perricone and Chef Michelle Bernstein for a “Restaurant Survival” guide.

Dinner in Minutes:

Onion, Pepepr and Mushroom Pizza

Fred Tasker gives his wine suggestions.


(10-12-2016) Today’s Topical Currents profiles longtime WLRN staffer and folk music buff, Michael Stock.

There are few locally produced radio music programs with a history of some 35 years on the air, but his FOLK AND ACOUSTIC program spins each Sunday with a wide range of authentic music—both recorded and live.

So join us for a program of music and down-home fun with Michael Stock . . . only on  Topical Currents 

(10-11-2016, originally aired 7-27-2016) Most of Florida’s 20-million souls swear they live in the country’s goofiest state.

Forget about it California--the Florida peninsula attracts more nutty folks and ideas. 

Remember, we blew up a Presidential election.  We lead the league in Ponzi schemes, insurance fraud, and “stand-your-ground” gun defenses.

We speak with reporter Craig Pittman about Oh, Florida!:  How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.

(10/10/2016) With a close Presidential election less than a month away, we visit with Hamline University political science professor, David Schultz. 

We examine the all-important “swing states,” so essential in the Electoral College.

There are ten vital swing states:  as a “purple state,” Florida has the most clout.  It’s voted for the Presidential winners in the past five elections.

(10-04-2016) Today’s image of South Beach is of uninhibited élan, wealthy young tourists . . . fashion models.

Back when, South Beach was decrepit buildings, elderly poor and transients.

But  a part of rebirth was Ocean Drive’s News Café, begun by Mark Soyka in 1988. 

“SoBe” had a root.

We profile the famed restaurateur on Today’s Topical Currents . . . (& learn more about his ventures).

(10-03-2016) Today’s edition of Topical Currents is “At Your Service,” with a focus on South Florida gardening and landscape.

Forget those “up-north” settings of changing leaves and sweater weather . . . fall means the start of the dry season. 

Well, perhaps . . .

And,  it’s a good time to begin growing tomatoes.

We have Florida master gardeners on hand . . . to take your questions.

(9-29-2016) Fireman Derek’s Bake Shop.  Linda Gassenheimer has the touching story of how a City of Miami fireman’s dream came to fruition with a store in Wynwood.

(9-29-2016)   Today’s Topical Currents features Miami civil rights and Coconut Grove pioneer, Thelma Gibson. 

She was a prime participant and witness to the desegregation movement from the 1950’s through the ‘70s.

(9-28-2016) Today’s Topical Currents features one of  Florida’s most beloved, irreverent and prolific Florida writers, Carl Hiassen.

Our state’s scams, stings, swindles, and freak factors give him priceless material for both his novels and Miami Herald columns.

We get his unique take on all things Florida of course, and take listener calls.

He has a new book out, called RAZOR GIRL.

(9-27-2016) A conversation, and listener calls,  with Daniel J. Levitin, author of A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age.