Louisiana: The State We’re In, Louisiana's only statewide news magazine and one of the longest running television programs in the nation, is in its 39th season on the air. The program currently airs Fridays at 7PM and Sundays at 4:30PM on the six-station LPB network that includes stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe and Shreveport. It also airs on LPB’s sister station WLAE-TV32 in New Orleans on Fridays at 7PM.
Award-winning journalists Charlie Whinham and Shauna Sanford anchor and produce the show which combines in-depth coverage of about the important issues in the state along with expert analysis of those issues. That includes continuing coverage of stories like the lasting effect of the BP oil spill on Louisiana’s coastline, the Bayou Corne sinkhole and the ongoing court battles over education initiatives supported by the Jindal Administration.
Since its inception in 1976 with current LPB President Beth Courtney anchoring the show, the program has been a leader in coverage of the Louisiana Legislature. Its goal has always been to explain how legislation will affect the lives of the people of the state. That coverage expands during the legislative session to include nightly updates on the day’s events at the session on Capitol Beat and a wrap up of the week’s events on the Friday State We’re In broadcast that features live interviews with lawmakers and experts on legislation.
The program also has lighthearted features on the people and places that make Louisiana so unique. For example, Whinham’s Lost Louisiana: What’s In A Name series explored important issues like how the village of Mowatta and towns like Dry Prong and Zwolle got their names.
The newest addition to the show is Prescription for Health which features Dr. Rani Whitfield discussing important health issues including how to prevent cancer, heart problems and strokes. The segments air the first Friday of every month.
Multi-Emmy award winning broadcaster and producer Charlie Whinham joined Louisiana Public Broadcasting in the Fall of 2002. In addition to his duties with Louisiana: The State We’re In, Whinham has produced over twenty separate shows on LPB highlighting Louisiana’s history, traditions, iconic figures and locations (complete list below).
The Suncoast Chapter of the National Television Arts and Sciences recognized Whinham in 2016 for his story on the 25th Anniversary of the movie Steel Magnolias filmed entirely in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and in 2010 for Lost Louisiana: Places of Worship.
In 2008, Whinham’s Louisiana World War Two Stories won the Distinguished Reporting Award from the Military Reporters and Editors Association at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The University of Kentucky graduate has earned a pair of Telly Awards for Lost Louisiana: What’s in a Name? (2007) and Louisiana Travels with Charlie Whinham (2016).
The Detroit native began his television career covering news but also worked as a sportscaster from the late-80’s to mid-90’s in Traverse City, Michigan and Green Bay, Wisconsin. During that time he covered the 1993 NBA Finals and the resurgence of the Green Bay Packers led by quarterback Brett Favre.
Over the years at LPB, Whinham provided in-depth reports on the 2005 Hurricanes of Katrina and Rita, the BP Oil Spill of 2010 and served occasionally as contributing correspondent and commentator for PBS NewsHour.
Whinham has interviewed and profiled many iconic Louisianans including Pulitzer Prize nominated author Ernest J. Gaines (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson Before Dying), Grammy-winning musicians Aaron Neville and Terrance Simien, Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams, and two-time World Series Champion pitcher Ron Guidry.
Whinham is married to Kris Kimball. Although they have no children, they proudly claim their four-legged rescue beagles Ellis and Gidget as “their kids”.
LPB Titles produced by Charlie Whinham:
Lost Louisiana: Endangered Sites
Lost Louisiana: What’s in a Name? (Vol. 1 through 5) (Telly Award Winner)
Lost Louisiana: Places of Worship (Suncoast Emmy winner)
Louisiana World War II Stories (Distinguished Reporting Award - Military Reporters and Editors Assoc.)
Louisiana’s Experience: WWII
Katrina & Rita: A Year of Recovery
Castle on the Hill: Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Louisiana Baseball Stories
A Louisiana Christmas Journey
Behind the Scenes at Antiques Road Show Baton Rouge
Eddie Robinson: A Life Celebrated
Louisiana’s Natural Treasures: Our State Parks
Louisiana’s Natural Treasures: Our National Sites
Natchitoches: A Tri-Centennial (Suncoast Emmy winner)
Louisiana Travels (Vol. 1 & 2) (Telly Award winner)
Kelly Connelly Spires produces Capitol Beat, a nightly news segment during the legislative session, assists in the production of Louisiana Public Square, and contributes to Louisiana: The State We’re In as well as other projects. Prior to joining LPB, Connelly covered politics out of three southern Capitols, including Baton Rouge. Versed in broadcasting as well as print and online media, her work has been published in LaPolitics Weekly, Business Report’s Daily Report and Louisiana Sportsman Magazine. Connelly holds a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies and a minor in Politics from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. She got her start in broadcasting in the Radio Training Program at Baton Rouge Magnet High School. She was hired as a part-time reporter and anchor her senior year of college at KUAR in Little Rock before continuing to KUT in Austin. When she’s not producing, Connelly enjoys cooking, practicing yoga and spending time on her front porch with her partner Steve Spires and their two dogs, Mr. Man and Miss Buttons. She is the second Connelly to work at LPB, after her father, former Baton Rouge newsman John Connelly.