Celeste Headlee

Host & Exceutive Producer - On Second Thought

Celeste Headlee is an award-winning journalist who hosts GPB Radio’s “On Second Thought,” weekdays from 9 – 10 a.m. She has  appeared on NPR, PBS World, CNN, BBC and other networks and began working as a public radio journalist in 1999. She was formerly a host at National Public Radio, anchoring shows like “Tell Me More,” “Talk of the Nation,” “All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition.” Until September of 2012, Celeste was the co-host of the national morning news show, “The Takeaway” from PRI and WNYC.  

 

In 2014, she narrated the documentary “Packard: The Last Shift” for the Detroit Free Press. Headlee has won numerous awards for reporting from the Associated Press. She was selected twice to be a Getty/Annenberg Journalism Fellow and was selected as a fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources. She was also among the first fellows in Reporting on Native Stories for National Native News. For many years, she was a mentor and managing editor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project, training young reporters and editors in broadcasting.

 

 

Ways to Connect

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A hundred years ago, the United States entered into WWI. To mark the centennial, the Atlanta History Center is taking a closer look at Georgia’s connections to the conflict. Take the red poppy, now a ubiquitous symbol in times of war.

©Nina Subin

Dominican-American novelist Junot Diaz published “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” a decade ago. The book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007. When he’s not writing, he teaches college students--he formerly taught Freedom University here in Georgia, which offers post-secondary education to undocumented immigrants.

We speak with Junot Diaz ahead of a lecture at Emory University at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12th.

Wikimedia Commons

Plans to build two nuclear reactors at a Georgia power plant may be in jeopardy. That’s after the main contractor on the project at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro filed for bankruptcy protection last month. Tim Echols is a Georgia Public Service Commissioner.

Kevin Christopher Burke / Foter

A fraternity at the University of Georgia was recently suspended for a year for misconduct during a hazing ceremony. A ban on new bars opening in Downtown Athens took effect in February. All this points to a problem with partying.

Plans to build two nuclear reactors at a Georgia power plant may be in jeopardy. That’s after the main contractor on the project at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro filed for bankruptcy protection last month. Tim Echols is a Georgia Public Service Commissioner. He joins us with Sue Sturgis of the online energy magazine, Facing South.

A special election is coming up in a week to fill Tom Price’s vacated seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district. The race is both contentious and expensive, by-products of the modern democratic process. We talked about our democracy and its health.

Centuries ago, Plato predicted that democracy is always doomed to fail. Was he right? We asked two political science experts: Robert Pirro of Georgia Southern University and Michael Evans of Georgia State University.

America was founded on principles of religious freedom. But Christianity dominates politics today. How this happened is the subject of a new book by Frances Fitzgerald. It’s called "The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America." In it, Frances Fitzgerald documents the rise and potential fall of America’s largest religious movement. She joined us to talk about the history and influence of evangelicalism.  

Jim Brit

Actor Stephen Tobolowsky has appeared in over 100 movies and 200 TV shows. His most notable roles include Stu Beggs on Showtime’s "Californication" and Ned Ryerson" in the classic 1993 film "Groundhog Day." Tobolowsky was raised in the Jewish faith, but has struggled with his identity since an early age. He writes about it in his new book “My Adventures With God,” which comes out April 18.

Photo Courtesy of The Satanic Temple

The Satanic Temple has been trying provide a secular alternative to traditional religion for over two decades. What is the mission of the Temple, and what are common misconceptions? The Atlanta Chapter is fighting to host an official after-school program in Cobb County schools. We talk to Atlanta Chapter head Fred Mephisto about the goals of his organization.

America was founded on principles of religious freedom. But Christianity dominates politics today. How this happened is the subject of a new book by Frances Fitzgerald. It’s called "The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America." In it, Frances Fitzgerald documents the rise and potential fall of America’s largest religious movement. She joins us to talk about the history and influence of evangelicalism.  

Early last week, a flock of chickens at a Northwest Georgia farm tested positive for bird flu. It’s the first confirmed contamination of commercial poultry in the state. What’s being done to contain the virus? How do farmers and officials prevent future outbreaks? We asked Mike Giles, President of the Georgia Poultry Foundation and Bruce Webster, UGA Professor of Poultry Science.

Olivia Reingold / GPB

The Breakroom is back to discuss grammar vigilantes, sexual assault settlements at Fox News, and overused terms like “break the internet.” Plus, we’ll talk about why Georgia might be a terrible place for millennials, why big houses are going out of style, and look at an April Fools' joke by a Republican candidate in the Sixth District race.

Our guests include:

Early last week, a flock of chickens at a Northwest Georgia farm tested positive for bird flu. It’s the first confirmed contamination of commercial poultry in the state. What’s being done to contain the virus? How do farmers and officials prevent future outbreaks? We ask Mike Giles, President of the Georgia Poultry Foundation and Bruce Webster, UGA Professor of Poultry Science.

We’ve seen more acts of hate speech and racism in recent months. Are hate groups becoming more organized? Jeannine Bell, Professor of Law at Indiana University, and filmmaker Mike Ramsdell joined us to discuss the rise of white supremacy, and what we’ve learned from dealing with hate groups in our history.

 

Men Stopping Violence

April 2-8 is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. The Georgia Senate recently passed Marsy's Law and the House will take it up next session. It’s a resolution to amend the state constitution so that crime victims have rights equal to perpetrators and the accused. We spoke with Pastor Sabrina McKenzie. She lost her sister to a violent crime, and now advocates for increased victims’ rights. We also talked with Lee Giordano, Training Director of Men Stopping Violence.

Wikimedia Commons

The closed section of I-85 carries more than 240,000 vehicles a day with few alternate routes. We talked with Emory University labor economist Tom Smith about the economic impact of the collapse on the state and the region.

The collapse last week of a portion of I-85 in Atlanta left the city in a state of gridlock and uncertainty. At a news conference on Monday, Georgia Department of Transportation officials told reporters work to repair the bridge won’t be finished until mid-June. For more on the I-85 disaster, we talk with GPB news reporter Sam Whitehead.  

Georgia Department of Transportation

The collapse last week of a portion of I-85 in Atlanta left the city in a state of gridlock and uncertainty. At a news conference on Monday, Georgia Department of Transportation officials told reporters work to repair the bridge won’t be finished until mid-June. For more on the I-85 disaster, we talked with GPB news reporter Sam Whitehead.  

Photos Courtesy of FX

Actress Aisha Tyler voices Lana Kane, the lead female character on “Archer.” Lana loves, hates, and cares for Archer, all while beating up the bad guys. Tyler talks to us about "Criminal Minds," "CSI," and being a bona fide geek.

Jon Benjamin has given a voice to the title character of the FX animated series “Archer” for seven seasons now. He’s also the voice of Bob on “Bob’s Burgers” and a featured comic actor in many more shows.  Benjamin joins us to talk about having one of the most recognizable voices in the world, his start as a stand-up comedian and the first time he was treated to a Southern gun range. 

Universal Studios

From the next installments of the Avengers series to a new television series on the Unabomber, there are a lot of major productions currently filming in Georgia. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jennifer Brett gave us an update about the latest film and TV projects in the state.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The new home of the Atlanta Braves opened Friday. Fans headed out of the city to SunTrust Park while the team’s former home sat empty. Turner Field was purchased by Georgia State University for millions of dollars. Now, those who live near the stadium want to make sure redevelopment doesn’t drive up the cost of living in their neighborhoods, and drive them out of their homes. At least 150 people marched from Mechanicsville to Turner Field this weekend. GPB’s Sean Powers was there, and brought back this audio postcard.

 

Demonstrators marched to Turner Field over the weekend, the former home of the Atlanta Braves. They want millions of dollars from the stadium’s purchase by Georgia State University to go towards projects that will benefit current residents in the area. GPB’s Sean Powers spoke to supporters of the Turner Field Coalition about their demands. Then we hear about how redevelopment can make neighborhoods unaffordable, driving out long-time residents. Deirdre Oakley is a sociology professor at Georgia State University who specializes in gentrification issues.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

The Breakroom gang joins host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week's news. The panel includes Atlanta-based LGBT educator and activist Robbie Medwed, former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, Amber Scott of the non-profit 'Leap Year,' and Steve Brown of the Fayette County Board of Commissioners.

TOPICS:

Some people who flee war-torn countries get a chance to start fresh elsewhere. That’s the case for Nemr Abou Nassar. He was a young child when he left Lebanon for the U.S. with his family. Nemr is known as Lebanon's King of Comedy. We talk to him ahead of a performance this weekend at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.  

Nemr

Some people who flee war-torn countries get a chance to start fresh elsewhere. That’s the case for Lebanese-born comedian Nemr Abou Nassar. He was a young child when he left Lebanon for the United States with his family. Nemr is known as Lebanon's King of Comedy. We talked to him ahead of his performances this weekend at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta.   

Bill Monk / Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

Atlanta is home to the fastest-growing Episcopal diocese in the world. Hispanic congregations are driving this growth, while providing sanctuary within Latino communities. Bishop Robert Wright talks about the role of his church in Atlanta. 

Photo Courtesy of Greg Iles

Southern writer Greg Iles has written 15 novels, 12 of which have been New York Times bestsellers. His book "24 Hours" became the 2002 movie “Trapped.” His latest novel, “Mississippi Blood” is the last installment of the epic Penn Cage trilogy.

Greg appears at the Carter Library in Atlanta at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 31. He joins us live from Charleston, S.C.

GW Pharmaceuticals

One of the bills likely to pass in the Georgia legislature would expand access to medical marijuana. Patients being treated for AIDS are among those who would qualify for a prescription.

Happy, Sine Die! Thursday, March 30, marks the end of the legislative session at the Georgia State Capitol. GPB capitol reporter Lisa Rayam gives us a recap of which bills died, and which will proceed to the governor’s desk.

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