Friday, February 14, 2014

Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary airs 7 p.m. Tuesday on WWNO

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 on WWNO. Abrams' seven-part documentary explores centuries of changes in the area near Saint Claude Avenue between Poland and Saint Bernard avenues. She interviewed more than four dozen people to get their opinions on white flight, gentrification, their fond memories of the area and the area's actual history. Here, Abrams details the documentary's parts and elaborates on its creation.

What was your motivation in creating Along Saint Claude?

I live in Bywater and I was just hearing, as you probably do, so many people talking about the gentrification and newcomers – a lot of anger, a lot of resentment. I just started wondering whose place is this. Who has a right to it? Who owns it? Hasn't it always been changing, like most places? Hasn't it always been in flux? Especially New Orleans, being a port town with people constantly coming in. So I just wanted to investigate that. I wanted to look beyond the anger and the easy-to-blame scapegoating and kind of figure out what was going on. I also really wanted to take a long look at things. I had heard a lot of people talking about gentrification and I wasn't even sure that was quite what was going on. And if it was, according to how that word is defined, from when?

It's definitely more white than it was 20 years ago. There's definitely way more money here than 20 years ago. But another 40 years before that, it was very different too. It went from being one kind of a neighborhood to another kind to another kind. It just made me think a lot about how change is really relative to where you're looking from and at, and how long a time period you're looking it.

The only real rule I set up for myself is to only talk to people who lived in the neighborhood [off of] Saint Claude Avenue currently or formerly. I tried to talk to as many different people as I could. At least four dozen. Not only did I do interviews where I talked to somebody for one hour or two hours, I also had a couple days where I would interview people waiting for the train to go across Press Street. I assembled a team of reporters and we wore T-shirts that said "Wanna Talk?" and I had little signs in the neutral ground that said "While You Wait, Let's Talk." We talked to a ton of people that way. I talked to as many different folks as I could: different age, different in terms of how long they've lived in New Orleans, different races. It was really surprising and a lot of the stereotypes that people say there are kinda got blown out of the water.

I had a lot of information, so I took a long, hard look at it and wondered what the stories are in here that I hear people tell. I really wanted it to be grounded in some history so, lucky for me, Rich Campanella lives in Bywater. So Bienville's Dillema was like my bible for that nine months. Between my interview with him and his book, I really came to form an idea about how this place came to be a neighborhood, and how it was in relationship to other neighborhoods from the very beginning. Who settled here because of that? I go back to before Europeans or Africans were in New Orleans. I spend much, much, much more time on the 20th century and the 21st century, but I do go back that far.

Did any responses surprise you?

I was really surprised that on the two days we were on Saint Claude Avenue randomly talking to people, almost every single African-American man that I spoke to was all for these newcomers coming in – ALL FOR IT. It was really surprising. One guy, when I asked a really broad question about changes, he said, "Well there are more white people here and it used to be that there weren't any white people in this area." I asked him how he felt about it and he said, "I love it. White people are the easiest people to live around," and then he said, more importantly, "White people mean more police, which means less foolishness." So I thought that revealed so much about how power structures work and who they're serving and who benefits. There were a couple young men who said they really enjoyed having all these people from different parts of the country living here because they felt like it was broadening their horizons. I don't want to say that all African-American men I talked to felt this way. There were two that I interviewed in depth that have much more complicated feelings – a lot of alienation and resentment and probably sadness more than anything else.

There was one man who talked about how a lot of people just didn't want to come back, how his sister settled in Jessup, Ga. and was able to buy a house there, something she might not have ever been able to do here. She just doesn't want to come back. He said, "Somebody has to live in those houses."

This wonderful woman, I asked her about all these complaints that [newcomers] don't say hello, they're not friendly, and she said, "We're training 'em." For a while, I was adamantly saying hello and good morning to everybody. It's a change to the culture and I think when you don't grow up doing that, you don't know that that's an expectation. I think the sheer number of newcomers here, that's why people are so agitated. It's so easy to get offended and upset by that. It's hard to remember. It's hard because when you say good morning and no one says it back, it's like "Ow!"

(A detailed episode breakdown follows below the jump.)
Dan Eaglin, a subject of Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary. - JONATHAN TRAVIESA
  • Dan Eaglin, a subject of Eve Abrams' Along Saint Claude audio documentary.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Angela Hill going to WWL radio

Posted By on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM


Angela Hill is coming out of a short retirement from WWL-TV to host her own show on WWL radio from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., beginning Sept. 30.

Garland Robinette, Hill’s former husband and longtime co-anchor at WWL-TV, announced Hill’s new show Thursday during an interview with her on The Think Tank With Garland Robinette.

He promised another programming announcement on his show Sept. 23 — this one regarding John “Spud” McConnell, whose Talk Gumbo with John “Spud” McConnell program will be displaced when Hill takes the time slot Talk Gumbo now fills.

In a news release issued after the announcement Chris Claus, vice president and general manager of Entercom New Orleans, WWL’s parent company, said, “Spud isn’t going anywhere. We have big and exciting plans for him.” It was followed by a pitch to tune in at noon Sept. 23 for the announcement.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Y@ Speak: new beginnings

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Alter egos, doomed films, firings, deaths, zombies, new friends and friendly strangers, new publications, and moments of discovery — and disappointments (Mannie Fresh, hang in there. Vine gets better). This week's Y@ Speak is about our new leases on life, whether admitting you have a gutter punk problem or realizing you have paid too much for a pretty regular burger experience.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Atlanta radio station mocks Steve Gleason

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Update, 5:15 p.m.: 790 The Zone station manager apologizes to the Gleason family and announced the termination of the radio announcers.

Update, 1:25 p.m.: 790 The Zone has suspended "Mayhem In The AM" members. From station manager Rick Mack:

We deeply regret the comments made by Mayhem In The AM this morning on 790 The Zone regarding former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason. 790 The Zone, Lincoln Financial Media, our sponsors and partners in no way endorse or support the unfortunate and offensive commentary concerning Mr. Gleason this morning. The members of the show involved with this incident have been suspended indefinitely pending further management review of their actions.

The New Orleans Saints literally enshrined former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason for his blocked punt heard 'round the world against the Atlanta Falcons in 2006. In 2011, Gleason announced his battle with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and the forming of his Team Gleason foundation to fund research and raise awareness of the disease.

I guess Falcons fans are still bitter about a 7-year-old game. This morning, JW on wrote that Atlanta morning zoo jockeys on 790 The Zone — the "flagship station" of the Falcons — "had a whole segment making fun of Steve Gleason and him talking through a computer."

The arse clowns from Mayhem in the AM did this 3 minute joke where they pretended that Steve Gleason called in and they asked him questions. Most of his responses were in the form of a knock knock joke and at one point he says he doesn't know if he will be alive next Thursday.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Harry Shearer's Le Show loses le flagship NPR station

Posted By on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Harry Shearer's radio program Le Show, which airs locally on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. on WWNO-FM, has been axed from the lineup at its home station, Santa Monica, Calif.-based NPR giant KCRW-FMand Shearer is looking for a new home base for the, uh, le show:

On Monday, April 15, I had an Income Tax Day to remember. I was invited to hear a “proposal” from the general manager of KCRW. The proposal was, in fact, a notice of a fait accompli. Le Show was being cancelled from the airwaves — something I had suspected might be the nature of the proposal, but the surprise was the timing: “effective immediately”. Thus does public radio, in one more small way, come to resemble ever more closely commercial radio’s way of doing business.

Le Show, which had been a 30-year staple at KCRW, featured Shearer's mix of barbed political satire, radio sketch comedy and music. KCRW management told the LA Weekly that it will "continue to distribute the show for podcast and national syndication, and will continue to support the show on its digital platforms."

Shearer is not the first Louisiana radio host to fall victim to changes at KCRW. In 1998, native New Orleanian Chuck Taggart, who presented a weekly program featuring Louisiana heritage music, was dropped from the station (Taggart began a new show at KCSN-FM, which he ended in 2008).

WWNO general manager Paul Maassen said the University of New Orleans' NPR affiliate intends to continue carrying Shearer's program, but said he hadn't talked to Shearer about possibly making WWNO the new home base for Le Show.

"We have a great relationship with Harry," Maassen told Gambit. "We'll see if he approaches us."

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

WWNO-FM names new news director

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Eve Troeh
  • Eve Troeh
WWNO-FM, the NPR affiliate at the University of New Orleans, has hired Eve Troeh as its first-ever news director as the station continues to rebrand and expand its news coverage of south Louisiana. Troeh will begin April 1.

An Alaska native, Troeh lived in New Orleans from 2000-2007, working as a freelance radio reporter and an associate producer for the popular American Routes show. After leaving New Orleans, she worked for NPR's "Marketplace" for five years, during which time she covered the 2010 BP oil disaster. On her way out, though, she penned an essay titled "Dear New Orleans: I'm Leaving You," which addressed her conflicted thoughts about her adopted city:

I talk to friends about New Orleans like a dysfunctional romance. I gush over it one day, then call up bawling and heartbroken the next. Why can't it change? Stop being self-destructive and violent? It has so much potential.

Recently, my blinders started to come off. It was building for awhile. My friend Helen Hill was murdered in her home;other friends have been mugged. We don't go out much any more...

But then there was this hot Friday night last month. I went on the perfect date with New Orleans . Saw live, local music, danced with friends on the stage, then headed home through my neighborhood of craftsman cottages and angel trumpet trees.

A block from my door, I was attacked from behind by a stranger. I escaped, with the help of my roommate. The case is moving forward, so I can't say much more than that.I'm angry and confused. Which is the real New Orleans? The one that's violent and desperate? Or the one that coos softly, and caresses me? The answer, of course, is both.

I just hauled my things out of New Orleans in a big truck. I am still in love with the city, but it's hard to trust it. Maybe we'll both heal, and the relationship will rekindle. I don't know what - or how long - that might take.

A biography of Troeh, provided by WWNO-FM, under the jump...

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gus Kattengell's "Sports Hangover" moves to afternoon drive time on 106.1 FM Monday

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Gus Kattengell, host of "The Sports Hangover" and New Orleans Saints columnist for Gambit, moves to the newly reaffiliated 106.1 FM "The Ticket" starting Monday.

The station is becoming an affiliate of the new CBS Sports Radio network, and Kattengell will be "The Ticket"'s sports director, as well as the station's afternoon drive-time host.

"The Sports Hangover" will follow "The Jim Rome Show" Monday through Friday, going head-to-head in the afternoon against the longtime market sports leader, WWL-AM's "Sports Talk" with Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia.

CBS Sports Radio will officially launch Jan. 3 at more than 100 stations around the country, and has just finalized its national lineup.

With New Orleans ramping up for Super Bowl XLVII — which will air on CBS — Kattengell will be reporting from the heart of preparations for the big game on the radio, in Gambit every week and here on the Blog of New Orleans as part of our planned Super Bowl coverage.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Gus Kattengell joins Gambit as sports correspondent

Posted By on Sun, Aug 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Gus Kattengell
  • Gus Kattengell

As Saints season gets underway, we're pleased to announce Gus Kattengell is joining Gambit's roster of contributing writers.

He'll be providing reports from training camp, pre- and post-game wraps of New Orleans Saints games and breaking Saints news on Blog of New Orleans — as well as a weekly column in Gambit. Gus joins our other sports correspondents — writer Alejandro de los Rios and photographer Jonathan Bachman.

G-Katt's been a familiar face (and voice) on local TV and radio for more than a decade. He's currently the co-host of "The Sports Hangover," the weekday sports show on WIST-AM, and the co-host of pre- and postgame radio broadcasts of Tulane University football. Before that, he was the sideline reporter for the Saints Radio Network and contributed to sports coverage on WWL-AM.

Gus is a graduate of Brother Martin High School and majored in broadcast journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi. He's won two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association for Sports Feature and several Louisiana Associated Press awards for Best Sportscast and Sports Story in the state. (Plus he just got married.)

He's also very active on social media (and not just on sports topics). Friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter — and look for his column in Gambit every week during Saints season.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

WWNO-FM and NPR to announce partnership with

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 6:25 PM

The University of New Orleans (UNO) and its NPR affiliate station, WWNO-FM, have called a press conference for Friday morning for the announcement of "a major new initiative." The initiative is, the fledgling newsroom being put together by Greater New Orleans Inc. president Michael Hecht and Educate Now! head Leslie Jacobs. (The project was previously called both and NOLA Beat; the domain was registered just yesterday.)

A fundraising letter being circulated this week among New Orleans business leaders says "is based on extensive discussions with industry experts, and aims to be a national model for next-wave journalism. will be hosted by UNO, and will partner with WWNO and National Public Radio (NPR)."

The letter also says NPR is investing $250,000 in kind in the project (though that dollar amount may be an estimate and is subject to change), and "has decided to make New Orleans its 'beta' market to develop a robust online platform for its affiliates nationally."

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Monday, July 23, 2012

As the New Orleans media landscape turns ...

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 6:12 PM

As The Times-Picayune continues down its path of thrice-weekly-plus-occasional-Saints-Monday print publication, several local online news sources have made moves to bolster their own positions.

The New Orleans Digital News Alliance is a collaboration between four local websites: My Spilt Milk (the cultural-criticism site recently started by former OffBeat editor Alex Rawls), NOLA Defender, Uptown Messenger and the non-profit newsroom The Lens. As announced by Rawls:

Each site has a distinctive mission. NOLA Defender refers to itself as an alt-daily that provides hyperlocal coverage of politics, crime, and culture in Southern Louisiana; Uptown Messenger covers the people and events of New Orleans' Uptown neighborhoods, reporting on government, crime, schools, business and culture; The Lens is the city’s first nonprofit, public-interest newsroom; and My Spilt Milk takes a timely look at New Orleans' culture with an emphasis on music. Collectively, we provide valuable information and perspectives on the Crescent City.

The Lens, along with cultural website NolaVie, also will be collaborating with, the online arm of NPR affiliate WWNO-FM, which made the switch from classical music to a daytime NPR news format.

But there's another name in the game that may upend the way New Orleans gets its online news. It's called NOLA Beat — and you'll be hearing more about it later this week.

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