Charlotte Talks

"Charlotte Talks" is WFAE's daily talk show and podcast. It airs live at 9 a.m. on weekdays and is hosted by Mike Collins. Every Friday, "Charlotte Talks" has a local news roundup of area reporters talking about the biggest stories of the week. "Charlotte Talks" airs a rebroadcast of the live show at 7 p.m. on weekdays, and is also available as a podcast.


Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019

Everything you need to know about the CMS school board race. Who’s running, the issues, and what’s at stake with three local education reporters.

Flickr / Ryan Stavely

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019

High-speed has long been a tough sell in the US, but plans are still in the works for it to come to Charlotte - some day. Guest host David Boraks looks at the hopes and the challenges for fast trains.


Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019

Programming note: This show originally aired January 23, 2019. Our originally scheduled show with Andrew Marantz, author of "Anti-Social" will be rescheduled to a later date. 

Charlotte has been engaged in a community book discussion around Richard Rothstein’s book "The Color of Law." The book illustrates how laws and housing policy at all levels promoted discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. Mike Collins talks to the author and local organizers about what has resulted from the community discussions so far.

Monday, Oct, 21, 2019

The American dream has always been difficult to realize. For many, it’s become almost impossible. What’s worse is that a handful of the ultrawealthy are gaming the system, and one of those individuals happens to be the president of the United States.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Early voting begins for races pretty much decided in the primary, but with the addition of the referendum on the sales tax.  There's been more blowback from protestors against the proposal for the county to garnish wages of those owing money to Medic.  New landlord fines pass city council, and CATS wants to spend $50 million to learn how much a new rail line will cost.  Details on those and other stories.


Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

We are home to five schools, each representing a different part of the higher education ecosphere. With costs soaring and as more is expected from institutions of higher learning, Mike Collins talks about these challenges with the presidents of Johnson C. Smith, Queens University, Davidson College and Central Piedmont as well as the chancellor of UNC Charlotte.

Chris Miller / WFAE

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019

The South has inspired a range of art. Leo Twiggs, one of the leading contemporary art figures in South Carolina, has spent decades painting what he sees as the contradictions of the region - hospitality and gentility on one hand, and racism and segregation on the other.

Erin Keever / WFAE

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mike Collins sits down with Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden who finds himself in the middle of a national debate on immigration.

National Archives

Monday, Oct. 14, 2019

Now that the Trump White House has declared war on the House impeachment inquiry, many are asking if the country is facing a constitutional crisis. It might be helpful to take a step back and see what the Constitution says to begin with.

Friday, October 11th, 2019

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney’s announced retirement plans may run afoul of some state laws. While some Republicans break with the president on Syria, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis doesn’t. A CMS whistleblower raises questions about former Superintendent Clayton Wilcox. Plus, the latest on news about the completion of the I-77 toll lanes.

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019

Impeachment. What it means, how it works and the striking connections to our politics today found in the first impeachment of Andrew Johnson. 

Chris Miller / WFAE

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019

The battle for your eyeballs - and money - is intensifying. More streaming platforms. More content. But how much is too much in the so-called golden age of streaming?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

TV actor/comedian Mike Birbiglia is in Charlotte as he begins the national tour of his Broadway show “The New One." We talk about comedy, how family life inspires his work and more.

court scene

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

A new investigation offers some clues into the city's homicide problem.  Reporters found that people arrested on weapons charges rarely face any real punishment.  Prosecutors here dismiss the majority of weapons charges.  That often leads to suspects committing more severe crimes.  We hear more from the journalists who reported the story and from the DA and a long-time prosecutor.


Monday, Oct. 7, 2019

Affordable housing has long been in short supply in Charlotte and as we grow, the problem has worsened.  Voters said yes to $50 million to help solve the problem, and the business community put up another $50 million.  The city has been working hard to put that money to good use, but now a new  study says these efforts are not yet working.  We hear more about the findings.

Friday, October 4th 2019

A shooting of an innocent bystander in uptown in the middle of the day has some residents worried about safety in Charlotte.  Former state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes admits to lying to the FBI.  Mecklenburg County was planning to start collecting on overdue ambulance bills, but reaction to that has them holding off.  And more concerns surface about the proposed sales tax for the arts.  Mike Collins and local reporters bring you the week's top stories.


Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019

After community blowback, a plan to turn MEDIC patients over to Mecklenburg County's tax collector for payment of overdue ambulance bills has been delayed. But why is it so expensive to use an ambulance in the first place?

Flickr / Marco Verch

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019

The bond between a dog and their owner is a unique one, which explains why it's painful when the dog's time comes. A new book collected tributes to these dogs from around the world.

WFAE/David Boraks, FLICKR/MIKE MOZART/James Willamor/Alexandre Prevot

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

A look at what’s happening with two of our city’s key drivers: business and development. Things are booming. What’s next?

This special series explores work/life balance. The four-part series tackles our work-obsessed culture, child care challenges, family leave policies, and finally, how to find fulfillment - and maybe even happiness - at work. 

All four parts available here or wherever you get podcasts.

Flickr / Chris Lexox

Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019

Craft brewers and distillers have seen explosive growth in North Carolina, and new state laws could accelerate that. A conversation at Divine Barrel Brewing in NoDa with leaders in the state's beer-brewing and alcohol-distilling industries.

Flickr/J E Theriot

Monday, September 30, 2019

We wrap up our work-life balance series on what we hope will be a positive note: how to find happiness and fulfillment in and outside the office. Much of our identity is tied up in what we do — there’s no escaping it. And work does give us a sense of purpose, but does it make us happy?

This is the fourth in a special four-part series about work-life balance. Details.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Plans to upgrade the convention center are over budget.  Panthers owner David Tepper wants up to $212 million to upgrade Bank of America stadium for Major League Soccer.  CMPD Chief Kerr Putney says de-escalation will be clearly cited as a goal when the department’s deadly force policy is released next month, and Cam Newton is sidelined for a second week because of his foot.

Flickr/Emily Goodstein

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019

Our special week-long examination of the elusive work-life balance continues with a look at attitudes and the reality of paid family leave. 

This is the third in a special series about work-life balance. Details. 

Flickr/Ryan Johnson

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Our week-long examination of the elusive work-life balance continues with a look at the impact of the need for and expense of child care.

This is the second in a special four-part series about work-life balance. Details.


Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

We begin a series on a topic that many, many Americans struggle with: achieving a work-life balance. We start with a look at the basics swirling around why we don’t take vacations, why we can’t seem to leave work behind and concentrate on family and, when we do, fail at both. We examine the challenges and explore whether a work-life balance is even possible.

This is the first in a special four-part series about work-life balance. Details.

Friday, September 20th, 2019

The shooter in the UNC Charlotte murders pleads guilty. New political maps are drawn and approved by the legislature. Dan Bishop officially becomes a member of Congress taking office this week in District 9.  Mecklenburg County decides to begin collecting overdue MEDIC bills.  And Cam Newton’s foot could keep him sidelined.  Mike Collins and local reporters have the latest.

Studio Drift / Mint Museum

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019

Dutch artist collective Studio Drift's sculptures have been described as breathtaking and thought-provoking. The Mint Museum is preparing to host Studio Drift's first U.S. exhibit, and the group's co-founders discuss their work.

Flickr/Tony Webster

Thursday, September 19, 2019

We’ve heard that global meat production is a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and scientists warn that to help combat climate change, we must reduce our meat consumption – especially beef. Can eating less meat save the planet?


Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Veteran journalist and political commentator Cokie Roberts died Tuesday at the age of 75. She was known as one of the "founding mothers" of public radio. We remember her by listening back to our 2014 conversation about the remarkable women in our nation's history.