WLRN’s popular afternoon radio show “Topical Currents” ended its 18-year run on September 28, as its creator and co-host Joseph Cooper retired from the South Florida NPR affiliate. The one-hour show, which debuted January 1999, airs at 1:00 p.m. four days a week. “Topical Currents” has featured local authors, chefs, media personalities and South Floridians discussing culture, the arts, and a variety of issues.
Joseph Cooper began his career at WLRN in 1974. Mr. Cooper served as WLRN Radio Program Manager, and instituted a 24-hour operating schedule. He was the founding producer and host of Florida Public Radio Legislative coverage in 1976. After Hurricane Andrew struck South Dade in 1992, Cooper hosted and produced the “Care Force Radio” program which took live calls from those directly impacted by the storm. He produced the first generation of pledge drives for Friends of WLRN, and three 13-week seasons of live jazz concerts. Cooper created the original WLRN program guide, wrote the initial grant to create the WLRN Radio Reading Service, and produced radio documentaries.
Bonnie Berman began as a volunteer reader at the WLRN Radio Reading Service in 1989. She voiced underwriting credits, station promotional announcements, and narrated a radio documentary about the homeless in South Florida. Berman worked for WLRN-TV, filled in as a local host on All Things Considered and Morning Edition where she later became the permanent local host. She conducted interviews for “Topical Currents” before joining the program as co-host and associate producer.
In July 2017, the program had an average weekly cumulative audience of 57,500 listeners in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton radio markets, according to Nielsen Audio figures.