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‘Wisconsin Today’ premieres Monday on WPR

The talk show will air weekdays 9-10 a.m. and re-air from 7-8 p.m.

Rob Ferrett, left, and Kate Archer Kent will co-host “Wisconsin Today” on WPR News every weekday at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Tom Krueger/WPR)

A new talk show will start airing on WPR News stations on Monday, May 20.

“Wisconsin Today” will air every weekday at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. The show goes beyond the daily headlines to provide a space for in-depth conversations about what matters to our state.

The show’s hosts Rob Ferrett and Kate Archer Kent joined “Morning Edition” host Alex Crowe to discuss their upcoming premiere.

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This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Alex Crowe: Kate, what does the “Wisconsin Today” show do differently than other shows at WPR?

Kate Archer Kent: I think “Wisconsin Today” will really provide that nuanced look at developments in our state and really help us dig into the “why.” There will be analysis that really grounds us but we’ll also have space to go deep on issues and find some solutions.

Rob and I get to do interviews about these really cool Wisconsinites who are a force for good in their communities.

Then of course, we’ll have these opportunities for listeners to interact with these topics — leave us voicemails, text, e-mails, social. I really think that that will bring that all together in “Wisconsin Today.”

AC: Yeah, I’m interested in that aspect of it. Rob, what kind of voices should we expect to hear on “Wisconsin Today”?

Rob Ferrett: From newsmakers, of course, we’ll hear from state lawmakers, local and state officials and more. We’ll also hear from your neighbors — people who are doing cool stuff in communities around the state, people who are involved in these stories. We’ll meet some of the people, we’ll hear some of the voices behind the headlines — people who are affected by the big state and national and international trends right here in Wisconsin.

AC: You both were hosts of your own respective talk shows on WPR, and now you’re going to be collaborating on a show together every single weekday. I’m curious, what’s that transition been like for both of you?

KAK: I’m really embracing it. Rob has this infectious curiosity and is always going, “Well, what about this, how about this?” I really appreciate learning from his approaches to the work and learning from the people we interview, but there’s always something in our work that we can’t quite get our arms around. And, you know, we get to work together on it and come back tomorrow and try it again, together. That’s what I really appreciate about this moment.

RF: And a great thing is this isn’t like something brand new for me and for Kate. We’ve been on the air together many times over the years. Kate has a great journalistic sensibility. I’m looking forward to working with her and the rest of the team, for that matter, and bouncing ideas off each other.

I think a good side benefit, too, is that there’ll be times where one of us is on the air because the other one is out in the community finding the next big stories and meeting the people who are part of those stories.

AC: There are no shortage of stories here in Wisconsin. Are there any you are particularly excited about as we get ready for the new show?

RF: Something I’ve always loved doing on “Central Time” and other shows here on WPR is meeting the people who — when they see either a challenge facing their community or an opportunity for something cool — they don’t just say, “I hope somebody does that, I hope somebody saw that,” but actually steps forward and takes it upon themselves to be part of making something cool and special happen in their community. These are people who don’t usually, I think, get the headlines. I love being able to talk to them, share their work and share their inspiration.

KAK: And I’m looking forward to seeing how Wisconsin is part of a bigger community. Whether it’s in our country or around the globe.

There’s this forthcoming conversation about Wisconsin’s history of divestment, and that it relates back to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa from decades ago. So it’s so relevant to the present day that you know — demands toward the war in Gaza — and we’re having such an interesting conversation about that coming up on “Wisconsin Today”.