Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins

9 a.m. Monday - Friday, 7 p.m. Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. Saturday
  • Hosted by Mike Collins

Launched in April 1998, Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins has become the region's exclusive forum for the discussion of politics, growth, the arts, culture, social issues, literature, human interest, the environment and more. If something is of interest to the Charlotte region, listeners and leaders know the topic is bound to be discussed on Charlotte Talks. Learn more about Charlotte Talks.

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Molly Grantham

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020

WBTV News Anchor Molly Grantham shares the story of her entire family coming down with COVID-19.

Flickr / Gage Skidmore

Monday, Aug. 10, 2020

A roundup of the political scene as this unlike-any-other election year nears some familiar mileposts: the selection of a running mate and the conventions. But even those are going to be unusual.

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.  

Thursday, August 6, 2020

It's tough to manage all the demands of parenthood during quarantine – and any other time. Our guest says throw out the rule book and trust your instincts. The author of "Parenting Outside the Lines" joins guest host Erik Spanberg.

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.


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

In 1865, nearing the end of the Civil War, thousands of formerly enslaved people were promised 40 acres and, eventually, a mule. This was likely the first attempt in American history at reparations for Black Americans. It never came to pass.

Department of Defense

Monday, August, 3, 2020

The world changed in a flash 75 years ago with the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II. That seismic event also established a nuclear precedent for presidential authority.

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.  


Thursday, July 30, 2020

As we approach the fall, students are preparing for school amid a pandemic. How will online education be different than last spring, how can it be done safely, and how will it impact learning in the short and long term?

Dashiell Coleman / WFAE

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Charlotte is known for its vast tree canopy, a quality most major cities lack. But as the city spurs development, the forest is thinning: Charlotte’s tree canopy fell from 49% to 45% from 2012 to 2018.

Flickr/Geoff Livingston

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Many white people are waking up, rejecting the notion of colorblindness and examining white privilege. It’s uncomfortable, and we talk about it.

Instagram / @RealDonaldTrump

Monday, July 27, 2020

Can companies mix business with politics -- without losing customers? It's a tough act to pull off in our hyper-politicized climate. 

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. 


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials fill us in on their plans for the new school year. There are no perfect answers, but parents, teachers and students are waiting for some. You’ll get them.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

COVID-19 is taking a toll on the nation with those on the front lines feeling the brunt of it. Overwhelmed health care workers put themselves in jeopardy to help others and that may be impacting those workers’ mental health.

David Boraks / WFAE

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

From the Boston Tea Party to the Revolutionary War, many historians consider protest essential to America’s identity. Today, however, figuring out the right way to protest has become highly contentious.

Library of Congress

Monday, July 20, 2020

Some of the protections that were stitched into the country's social safety net because of the pandemic are nearing an end, including extra unemployment benefits and moratoria on evictions. But the need for public relief shows no sign of ending. 

Flickr / Ben Schumin / Chris Campbell

Friday, July 17, 2020

Back-to-school coronavirus plans for public schools in the Carolinas were announced this week, while the next phase of reopening North Carolina businesses was delayed again. Guest host Erik Spanberg and our roundtable of reporters have the latest on the pandemic and the week's top stories.

Monday July 13 - Thursday July 16

Join Charlotte Talks for a special series examining America’s struggle with racial injustice. Mike Collins hosts a week-long look at this enduring problem as many of us turn to history books to understand our nation's troubled track record on race. The full four-part series is available now on the Charlotte Talks podcast and online. 

The New Press

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Most people consider Jim Crow an antiquated era that we, as a nation, have evolved from. And yet, there are more African American men ensnared in the criminal justice system today than were enslaved in 1850.

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


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. 


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

We learn about the history of racial-terror lynchings in the South with a panel of historians. 

This show is part of a special series examining America’s history of racial injustice. Parts of the show originally aired in 2012 and 2019.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson shares the epic story of America's 'Great Migration,' when African Americans fled the South. 

This show is part of a special series examining America’s history of racial injustice. It originally aired in 2011.

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.

Michael Falero / WFAE

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Police lobbing tear gas has been a common sight in this year's protests over police brutality and racism. How did a chemical weapon that has been banned in warfare become a tool for law enforcement?


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Halfway through a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, we talk about the challenges facing us with four Charlotte City Council members.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

As the coronavirus first emerged on American soil, one of the early epicenters was a nursing home near Seattle. Today, 43% of U.S. coronavirus deaths are linked to nursing homes. 

Erin Keever / WFAE

Monday, July 6, 2020

Recent primaries have highlighted the challenges of voting in a pandemic. They've also pointed out what are seen as gaps in voter protections.

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.

David Flower / City of Charlotte

Thursday, July 2, 2020

We meet the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's new chief, Johnny Jennings, on his second day on the job to talk about his vision and the challenges police face as residents demand social justice.