Wendy Herkey

Executive Producer, Charlotte Talks

Charlotte Talks Executive Producer Wendy Herkey has with WFAE since 1998, beginning in the membership department, and has been on the Charlotte Talks staff since 1999.

An Ohio native, Wendy is a graduate of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.

Wendy also had stints at The Charlotte Observer and at WCNC-TV in Charlotte, and produced a weekly public affairs TV show called Charlotte Now on WJZY (hosted by Mike Collins).

Wendy and her husband Todd enjoy watching their teenage sons play baseball.

Ways to Connect

Friday, Sept. 18, 2020

Gov. Roy Cooper says elementary students can return to school. CMS releases its phase-in plan to bring kids back to the classroom. Mecklenburg County’s coronavirus numbers continue to decline, but a Labor Day spike is still possible. The first of three planned debates between North Carolina’s Republican and Democratic U.S. Senate candidates takes place with the virus taking center stage. 

Friday, Sept. 11, 2020

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says it’s close to a plan for returning to in-person classes. City leaders, meanwhile, are talking about making a change for the better in the Beatties Ford Road corridor and five other areas of Charlotte. In other news, ethics complaints have now been filed on all members of Charlotte City Council, and nearly 3,000 North Carolinians have died from COVID-19 complications.

Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020

Mayor Vi Lyles talks about the city’s business recovery plans, the economic impact of Panthers games witih no fans in the stands and body camera footage from a June 2 clash when police used tear gas on protesters.

Friday, Sept. 4, 2020

North Carolina moves to what Gov. Roy Cooper calls "Phase 2.5." Gyms, playgrounds and museums can now open. The Carolina Panthers won't get fans at their first home game. Colleges and universities around the state are experiencing more COVID outbreaks. And CMS says “no layoffs” but they will not be hiring psychologists or social workers.

Friday, Aug. 28, 2020

This week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police released video from a widely covered June incident in which officers used tear gas on protesters. The Republican National Convention came to town, along with the president. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools continues to work on improving online connectivity for students and on plans for phasing in a return to in-person schools.

Friday, Aug. 21, 2020

Officials say our coronavirus numbers are trending in the right direction, but we can’t afford to be complacent. Back-to-college turns into back-to-home at UNC Chapel Hill and other campuses. Online problems statewide make the first day of K-12 school difficult. And Charlotte prepares for a one-day Republican National Convention.    

Friday, Aug. 14, 2020

The Hawthorne Lane bridge has concrete issues – in more ways than one. The RNC announces its plans for the Charlotte convention. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association delays all sports, many into 2021, as school districts across the state, including CMS, prepare for online school starting next week.

Wendy Herkey / WFAE

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Mayor Vi Lyles talks to Mike Collins about the impending Republican Convention, troubles on City Council among some members, including accusations about ethics, and more troubles with the Hawthorne Street bridge. 

Friday, Aug. 7, 2020

Gov. Roy Cooper extends Phase 2 restrictions into September as Mecklenburg County develops strategies to help businesses enforce the governor’s mask mandate.  It’s still not clear just how or where -- Charlotte? the White House? -- President Trump will accept his party’s nomination at the RNC. And Hurricane Isaias hits the coast during the pandemic.  

School starts in just a few weeks, and no matter what districts across North Carolina do to reopen, this year will look different. Public radio stations from around the state are coming together for a back-to-school special.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools reverses course on its back-to-school plan. New “last call” rules for alcohol sales go into effect statewide at 11 p.m. Friday. Coronavirus still dominates the news, but has Charlotte reached its peak?  President Trump says he will accept the GOP nomination for president in North Carolina. Will it be in Charlotte?  And a possible conflict of interest on Charlotte City Council.  

Friday, July 24, 2020

Pushback from CMS teachers over the system’s decision to start school in the classroom.  More retailers are requiring shoppers to wear masks. Efforts are under way to make early voting safer as Bank of America Stadium and Spectrum Center get the OK as early-voting polling sites. And tensions build between Mecklenburg County’s sheriff and a jail support group. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Richard Rothstein’s "The Color of Law" illustrates how laws and housing policy at all levels promoted discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Mike Collins talks with Rothstein and local organizers about how to use that knowledge to make better policy in the future.

This show is part of a special series examining America's history of racial injustice. It originally aired in 2019. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Coronavirus hospitalizations continue to reach new highs. You no longer need a doctor’s referral to get a coronavirus test. Officials are concerned people aren’t taking the wearing of face masks seriously.  And Blackout Day 2020 was this week as a Confederate monument falls in Salisbury. Mike Collins and his guests go through the week's top local stories.


Friday, July 3, 2020

Everything you need to know about sharks. Despite conditioning from Steven Spielberg, shark expert William McKeever says we shouldn’t fear sharks. We’re more of a threat to them and we find out why.

This show originally aired August 12, 2019.

Flickr user/betancourt

Thursday, July 2, 2020

It’s summer, and as the economy begins to open up, people tired of being cooped up may want to travel.  As we approach the July 4 weekend, many people are thinking about vacations. Mike Collins asks his guests what is safe to do, where it’s safe to go and stay and more.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Gov. Roy Cooper delays moving to Phase 3 of reopening and mandates masks be worn in public. A block party on Beatties Ford Road turns deadly – with multiple fatalities and no witnesses willing to come forward. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney makes July 1 his last day, and CMS plans to change the names of schools with ties to racism or slavery.  


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, much of America’s workforce has gone virtual. Working from home took a little getting used to at first. Now it’s working so well that some believe this could become a permanent fact of life. How long might working from home last?  

Friday, June 19, 2020

Charlotte enters its third week of protests over the death of George Floyd and this week, Mecklenburg County Commission declares racism “a public health crisis.” DACA is upheld. A CMS principal is suspended in a controversy over racism.  Questions about broken promises arise over the RNC pullout, and City Council unanimously OKs Eastland Mall rezoning.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Tensions have lessened at Charlotte protests. A block of Tryon Street in uptown became a work of art. The governor pledged to review police policies throughout the state, and the RNC is eyeing Jacksonville, Florida, for its big night. 

Mike Collins and Vi Lyles
Wendy Herkey / WFAE

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles joins us talks about the police response to recent protests, her business recovery program in the shadow of COVID-19 and where things stand with the Republican National Convention.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Charlotte has joined cities around the nation in protesting the death of George Floyd. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in various parts of town. We update you on the demonstrations – peaceful and chaotic – and the police response. Threats to move the Republican National Convention out of town may become reality, and we'll take a look at the consequences.  Plus, we'll have the latest on the coronavirus — the spike in cases and what that may mean for Phase 3.  

Friday, May 29, 2020

It’s a game of chicken between Donald Trump and Gov. Roy Cooper over the RNC. A recap of COVID-19’s impact on Charlotte. CMS approves next year’s calendar with a starting date of Aug. 17, but we don’t know what form school will take. And the investigation into Sen. Richard Burr’s stock trades continue even as the Justice Department drops investigations into other senators. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Gov. Roy Cooper decides on a modified Phase 2 reopening of the economy. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has named its next chief.  NCDOT furloughs 9,300 employees until the end of June. Charlotte's oldest movie theater closes amid the coronavirus outbreak. And less than 100 days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, no one will definitively say it will take place. Who will decide?

Friday, May 15, 2020

A week into the first phase of North Carolina's reopening, we get an update on the impact.  Mecklenburg County officials stop issuing projections for the coronavirus after being told they weren’t using the model correctly.  The FBI takes North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr’s cellphone. CMS decides to hold virtual, pre-recorded graduations. And Panthers owner David Tepper believes the NFL will be back this fall — with fans.    

Friday, May 8, 2020

The state begins to loosen coronavirus restrictions Friday. The US is woefully behind other nations in terms of testing and North Carolina is at the bottom of the pile among the states.  We rank 45 out of 50.  A city budget for next year reflects the virus. The bottom line is lower, but no tax increases are recommended.  


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Chancellor Philip Dubois ends his tenure at UNC Charlotte this summer after 15 years leading the UNC system’s fastest growing university. He joins us to discuss his legacy.

Friday, May 1, 2020

The latest on the coronavirus outbreak in Mecklenburg and beyond, including what initially looked like a challenge to the governor’s stay-at-home ordinance in Gaston County.  Schools will remain closed for the rest of this academic year. CMS makes its request for funds from Mecklenburg County.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Governor Cooper extends North Carolina's stay-at-home order to May 8. Protesters get restless over closures in North Carolina even as South Carolina loosens restrictions.  Atrium Health announces work-hour reductions in a cost-saving measure. McCrae Dowless is in more hot water. And a new draft pick for the Carolina Panthers.

Erin Keever

Friday, April 17th, 2020

The latest on the coronavirus outbreak in Mecklenburg and beyond.  Bank of America’s profits are cut in half this quarter.  Small businesses can now apply for low-interest loans in Mecklenburg County.  Plans for the RNC are still moving "full speed ahead," and the Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey is now the NFL’s highest paid running back.