Catie Talarski

Executive Producer

Catie Talarski is Executive Producer at WNPR, focusing on original WNPR programs; working to develop new concepts, live events and content strategies, with concentration on three pillars: Talk Programming, Community Outreach, and Education.

Catie got her start in documentary radio at the Salt Institute in Portland Maine. She has produced several PRNDI award-winning programs on Where We Live, including coverage of young people leaving Connecticut and Sexual Assault on College Campuses. In honoring her award-winning 2010 episode about what makes a good neighbor, PRNDI judges wrote that Where We Live “takes a news story and spins it into universal connections for listeners. This program is an inspiring example of how talk programs can take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.”

Catie’s also documented end-of-life decisions made by young people with Cystic Fibrosis for NPR’s Hearing Voices, and dug into archival tape of artist Romare Bearden for Studio 360. For WNPR, she’s explored the underbelly of Hartford’s Park River, and the history of the women who helped save the Mark Twain House. She worked with the Public Radio Exchange to produce the hour-long specials BULLIED: Teen Stories from Generation PRX and Left Behind, Dropping Out.

Her foray into magazine writing includes an article about her Polish heritage published in SilverKris, the in-flight magazine of Singapore Airlines.

Catie was inspired by Third Coast and others to create live events to build community around radio. She launched *the ear cave* a listening session hosted by a rotating cast of local radio professionals held at a coffeehouse in Hartford. And her Radio Adventure Theater is an experimental variety show that combines live music, theater, poetry and documentary radio. You can follow Catie on Twitter.

Ways To Connect

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted a request Friday to review the case of Adnan Syed. He was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and was the subject of the podcast Serial. Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation, brought Syed's case to the producers of Serial,and has been a leading advocate for his appeal.

Chaudry believes the popular podcast may be in part responsible for a speedy decision that could lead to a new trial. 

On WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, Chaudry said that the latest development in the case is unusual. The opportunity to file a post-conviction appeal doesn't happen often, she said, and when it does, it doesn't tend to move through the system this fast. This is the third attempt in 12 years to appeal Adnan Syed's conviction. 

Mark Twain House

Hal Holbrook has played Mark Twain in his solo show "Mark Twain Tonight" for more than 60 years, and at almost 90 years old he's still channeling the author.

It's a show that Holbrook never expected to catch on when he first started performing off-Broadway in his mid 30s. It took more than three hours to do his makeup, he told WNPR's Colin McEnroe Showto get in character as an aging Twain. 

Holbrook was an unknown actor in 1959 when the New York Times critic gave him rave reviews, calling it "an extraordinary show," and saying "there should have been posters up all over town to herald its arrival."

Earlier today, Julianne Moore got an Oscar nomination for "Still Alice." She is by far the betting favorite to win the best actress award. But you may remember her better as Franny Hughes Crawford on "As The World Turns." And four or five years before Ellen said "I'm gay," Bill Douglas came out as a gay teenager on One Life to Live. That character was played by Ryan Philippe. In fact, Leo DiCaprio, Maria Tomei, Tommy Lee Jones, Parker Posey, Kevin Bacon, Meg Ryan, they all worked on soaps before they moved on. 

Now there are only four soap operas left – drawn out, dramatic stories that used to be sponsored by soap manufacturers, and now are struggling to maintain relevance to house wives who have a lot more options in the middle of the day. We'll talk about this slice of Americana with those in the industry, and a professor who co-directs “Project Daytime.”


Novelist Robert Stone, author of A Flag for Sunrise and Hall of Mirrors, died Saturday at his home in Key West, Florida. He was 77.

Stone was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize, and won the National Book Award in 1975 for his novel Dog Soldiers

NPR reported that Stone "was a neglected and traumatized child who learned early not to trust reality, a lapsed Catholic consumed by questions of sin and redemption."  

Chion Wolf

It’s inauguration day in Connecticut! And it’s also Wednesday...and that means The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. How convenient is that?

It’s been two years since saxophonist Jimmy Greene lost his six-year-old daughter, Ana, in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On his new album Beautiful Life, Greene memorializes his little girl.

U.S. Department of Education

The population of English language learners in Connecticut has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. According to the data, these students are falling behind. 

Naval History and Heritage Command / Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Vivek Murthy to be the nation’s next Surgeon General. His confirmation had been held up for more than a year by pro-gun lobbyists, because of his support for new gun control measures. Murthy founded the group Doctors for America, which had advocated for gun restrictions, but he has said his focus as Surgeon General will be on tackling the nation’s obesity problem.

Chion Wolf

The population of English Language Learners in Connecticut has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. Unfortunately, support for these students hasn’t kept up. Despite this steady increase in a learning population, the number of certified, bilingual teachers has been in a steady decline.

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum / Quinnipiac University

Ireland's Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University is launching a digital database with about 1,500 articles and illustrations related to Ireland and the Great Famine.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Colin McEnroe has been working for an age to get Winterpills to appear on his show. A new album was recently released by the band, Echolalia, allowing WNPR a perfect reason at last to bring in members Philip Price and Flora Reed.

Sky Arts /

Elizabeth McGovern doesn't want her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, to overshadow her identity as a musician. But she does admit it drives people to come see her band. Sadie and the Hotheads have just released a new album, Still Waiting. They'll be at Hartford's Infinity Hall on December 14.

Catie Talarski

The American Polish Advisory Council held its annual conference at Yale University this weekend. The group discussed issues ranging from U.S.-Polish relations to the crisis in nearby Ukraine. 

Chion Wolf

On Monday, a grand jury did not indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for any crimes related to the death in August of the unarmed teen Michael Brown. That death touched off a series of protests and conversations about race relations between police and the black community.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

When Laura and Joe Hudson moved to Bristol, Connecticut, they brought with them some of their Southern traditions. 

For Laura, that tradition was quilt-making. For Joe, it was singing gospel music. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to provide updates on the latest transportation news including CTfastrak, I-84, and our regional railways. Also, as we head into the winter months, how prepared are the state's roads?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings together some of the best and brightest reporters to break down the week's news. As expected, the state budget faces a serious deficit and the Connecticut Mirror's Keith Phaneuf will explain what that means for taxpayers. Also, the Democrats will retain control of the legislature, but there are some intriguing young Republicans to watch - including a 20-year-old legislator! We will also remember Connecticut Judge John T. Downey, who died this week after an extraordinary life.

Creative Commons

What if you had the ability to read the emotions, the thoughts, the concerns of your city in real time, at any time? What if you could then use that information to help your community -- to build stronger policies, and foster better relationships with those around you? 

sima dimitric / Creative Commons

A new report from the Institute of Medicine takes a closer look at end-of-life care in the U.S. The report, called "Dying in America", shines light on the quality of care available to those nearing the end of life -- offering some recommendations on how to make care more sustainable and accessible to patients and their families. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We take certain things for granted. Like the mountains, rivers and rocks around us.

So what made Connecticut look the way it looks today? As you kayak on the Connecticut River, drive over Talcott Mountain, or swim in Long Island Sound...there are millions of years of history underneath you.

Catie Talarski

Henry Kawecki was born on April 30, 1924 in Warsaw, Poland. At 90 years old, he's seen more than most. In fact, he could write chapters of a history book.

Chion Wolf/Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has finally had a chance to breath after last week’s election that leaves the next four years looking a lot like the last four years in Connecticut. Our panel of reporters and analysts will close the books on the 2014 election and preview what’s to come in Governor Malloy's second term in office.

Anne Farrow

Connecticut played a big role in slavery and the Holocaust...but most of us don't know about it.

First, a powerful New London merchant and ship owner sailed his ships to West Africa and the Caribbean for more than 40 years during the late 18th century to trade in slaves whose labor lined the pockets of his most respected family.

Kevin Dooley / Creative Commons

According to a new scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Connecticut has dropped to sixth place in the national ranking of state energy efficiency. 

Jessica Whittle / Creative Commons

One of the most basic functions of local government is to protect its citizens. We talk with a panel of local firefighters who do just that.

When a fire breaks out, many Connecticut towns have volunteer forces that go to the rescue. What draws firefighters to this profession that includes a lot more than just fighting fires? Some Connecticut firefighters are even taking it a step further, and are going out west to help fight forest fires.

Marc Brüneke / Creative Commons

A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month shows a growing number of U.S. cities are making it illegal to hand out food to the homeless. Since January 2013, 21 cities have passed legislation restricting food distribution. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy claimed victory in the race for governor early Wednesday morning, but only by a razor-thin margin. Without final results, the best call he could make was, "We're going to win this thing."

Republican challenger Tom Foley, reluctant to concede, gave a speech announcing that yeah, he probably lost. Also still unclear: results of the races for secretary of the state, comptroller, and treasurer. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's finally here. It is Election Day 2014! For the last year and a half, the field of candidates for governor has been whittled down to Dannel Malloy and Tom Foley (again). Petitioning candidates Jon Pelto and Joe Visconti have come and gone (kind of). And this year's race will go down as one of the nastiest in recent memory. But it's almost over.

Chion Wolf

This election cycle, the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information asked candidates to sign a pledge - to oppose weakening the state’s public document disclosure law, and to require that any attempts to weaken the law be subjected to public hearings and debate.  Only 10% of those to whom this pledge was sent have actually signed it, though.

Latino voters are overwhelmingly more likely to support Democratic candidates than Republicans, but that has been changing in recent years. The national GOP has talked a lot about being more “inclusive”, even as voter ID laws in places like Texas seem aimed squarely at reducing the number of Latinos able to vote.