Joseph Cooper

Host Topical Currents

WLRN Radio's Joseph Cooper says producing and hosting Topical Currents is the most rewarding experience of his long radio career, which began at the University of Missouri School of Journalism in the 1970s.

"It's now an obsession, but I never thought talk radio would be in my future. The wide, wide range of topics, research and reading keeps me hustling all week," he says. "It's similar to a daily newspaper column because, essentially, we write an essay to frame each show before conducting the interviews and taking calls and then it all starts over again for the next day's program."

Topical Currents is put together by a small production team, which includes producer Richard Ives and technical director Bonnie Berman. Syndicated food and dining columnist Linda Gassenheimer frequents the program, as well as a handful of expert regular contributors and regional reporters.

Topical Currents is a sub-tropical blend of regional issues and politics, local profiles, author interviews, "At Your Service" programs, South Florida history and any topic listeners might banter about around the proverbial "water cooler." It was first broadcast in January 1999.

Cooper is often asked to name his "favorite" interview subject.

"Hmmmm," he says with the hint of a smile. "Not necessarily the celebrities or famous authors but the one I've just done. Well usually.

Ways to Connect

(11-10-2016)  Starting with toddlers, parents exhort kids to NOT speak with strangers.  Familiarity could lead to who-knows what . . .

So, Today’s Topical Currents begins with Kio Stark.  She loves to speak with those she doesn’t know . . . it enriches her life.  We’ll talk about her book, WHEN STRANGERS MEET.

(11-9-2016) .  Today’s Topical Currents is a South Florida post-election program, which highlights how our region will be affected by vote results.

We feature Florida Bulldog Editor Dan Christensen, as well as Barry University Political Science professor, Sean Foreman.

We also take your post-election calls.   

(11-8-2016)  Today’s Topical Currents highlights one of South Florida’s top events, the Miami Book Fair International, now in its 33rd year.

Esteemed worldwide, the Book Fair is produced and presented by Miami Dade College, with some 450 authors, a myriad of events, and of course, the gigantic street fair.

We visit with Co-founder, Mitchell Kaplan, and Director of Programs, Lisette Mendez.

www.miamibookfair.com 305-237-3258

(11-7-2016) Today’s Topical Currents is a Florida-flavored analysis of Tuesday’s General Election, with a call-in program featuring members of the WLRN/Miami Herald News Team, including editors Tom Hudson and Tim Padgett.

Co-hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman take a look at key state, regional and municipal races, as well as Florida Constitutional and local ballot initiatives.

(11-3-2016)  Today’s Topical Currents centers on a persistent Miami-Dade battle:  the creation of a “Pets Trust” . . . funding for spay and neutering services . . .  and a no-kill policy for adoptable pets by the Animal Services Department.

A straw-ballot, non-binding resolution in favor was voter approved in 2012, but the Miami-Dade Mayor and some Commission members balk at implementing it.

Why?

We discuss the issue, and take your calls .  

www.petstrustmiami.com

(11-02-2016)   Ponder how many obituaries have appeared in the New York Times since 1851, and how those obits reflect cultural, social and political history.

Wednesday’s Topical Currents is with Obituary Editor, William McDonald, and his remarkable book of “obits,” called The New York Times Book of the Dead.

What was written, for example, about Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie or Coco Chanel?  

(11-1-2016)   With South Florida’s abundant array of wildlife, and its human population, some contact is inevitable:  and often at the expense of an animal.

Touesday’s Topical Currents is about those who care for injured or orphaned creatures.

We highlight the South Florida Wildlife Center in Broward, as well as the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station on Miami’s Biscayne Bay.

Guests: 

(10-31-2016) Today’s Topical Currents revisits domestic violence and abuse, with updates from key South Florida figures who work to aid victims, including undocumented immigrant women.

Somi Ali is the founder of No More Tears, which has helped nearly one-thousand adult women and children.

We also hear from immigration law attorney Callan Garcia, who specializes in human trafficking and domestic violence cases, as well as custody and divorce attorney Nicole Netti.

(10-27-2016) South Florida’s “season” is soon underway . . . that means a hefty increase in restaurant business.

Thus, the Topical Currents “Restaurant Roundabout,” with Chef, author and syndicated columnist Linda Gassenheimer.

We cover the area dining scene with reviewers, and of course, take calls about your favorites.  

Guests include: 

Jen Karetnick, Miami Magazine Restaurant Critic

Laine  Doss, Food Editor for Miami New Times 

Matt Meltzer, Miami Editor of the Thrillist Media Group   

(10-26-2016) Today’s Topical Currents looks at the Dade Heritage Trust . . . South Florida’s largest historic preservation organization.

Founded in 1972, the Trust has been instrumental in numerous campaigns to save not only historic buildings, but the rich culture of the area.

It’s housed in the original 1905 office building of Dr. James Jackson, the namesake of the midtown hospital complex.

We learn much more about what important buildings are targeted for preservation.  

(10-25-2016) Today’s Topical Currents profiles Florida International University President, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, the fifth president in the University’s history. 

F-I-U has the second largest student body in Florida, and the fourth largest in the U.S.

Dr. Rosenberg is a political scientist who specializes in Latin America, and also Chairs the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

(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. 

www.towersinthesand.com 

(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.

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