NEW ORLEANS – WLAE-TV in partnership with The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate and NOLA.com is launching “Let’s Talk with Keith Spera,” a new type of New Orleans weekly talk show that invites viewers to sit in on the award-winning journalist’s conversations with a diverse assortment of entertainers, newsmakers, and notable personalities.
“Let’s Talk with Keith Spera” premieres Thursday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. on WLAE-TV with an encore presentation on Sunday, June 18, 2023, at 9:30 p.m. Spera’s first guest for his inaugural show is New Orleans music sensation Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, whose nickname is from the instrument he mastered growing up as a child in the Treme neighborhood.
During a career spanning 30 years, “Let’s Talk” host Spera has interviewed many of the biggest names in entertainment, from Jerry Seinfeld to Janet Jackson, as well as every New Orleans and Louisiana musician of note. On his new weekly half-hour talk show, he will chat with a cross-section of influential and interesting New Orleanians: musicians, media figures, athletes, attorneys, religious leaders, politicians and many more.
Upcoming episodes will feature WWL-TV news anchor Charisse Gibson and maverick car salesman/crooner Ronnie Lamarque.
“Keith has interviewed so many interesting characters over the years,” said Jim Dotson, vice president of WLAE Productions and New Orleans public television station WLAE-TV. “Viewers will enjoy his talent for getting his guests to open up about their lives and share their insights, while also having a little fun.”
On “Let’s Talk with Keith Spera,” Spera functions as a stand-in for viewers by asking the sorts of “always wanted to know” questions that might come up during a chance encounter at a local bar. His casual, conversational approach is substantive but not stuffy, which allows guests to relax and share stories about themselves, what they do and why. Viewers see who they are as people, not just who they are in public.
A New Orleans native, Spera has spent his entire career telling the stories of his hometown, especially its music community. A recipient of numerous national feature-writing awards, he was a member of The Times-Picayune’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Hurricane Katrina coverage team. He is the author of the acclaimed book Groove Interrupted: Loss, Renewal and the Music of New Orleans (St. Martin’s Press, 2011), which introduced readers to some of the city’s most celebrated musicians as they recovered from various challenges including Katrina. Spera lives in New Orleans with his wife, three children and their dog, Goose, all of whom occasionally turn up in his newspaper columns.
“Let’s Talk with Keith” will air Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. with repeats on Sundays at 9:30 p.m. on WLAE-TV in New Orleans (Channel 32, COX Ch. 14 and 1014, Spectrum Ch. 11 and 711 and AT&T and DISH Ch. 32).