Marcus Charleston

Producer, The Confluence

Marcus Charleston joined WESA as producer of Essential Pittsburgh. He now produces WESA’s weekly news program The Confluence. Prior to his arrival in Pittsburgh, Marcus produced the daily public affairs program Midday at WYPR, the NPR news station serving Baltimore, Maryland. Marcus began his career in public radio at WHYY in Philadelphia. His work has been heard on NPR, the BBC, CBC and CBS Radio.

In addition to his broadcast work, Marcus is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in a number of magazines including Men’s Health, Baltimore and Pittsburgh city magazines.

Ways to Connect

Jill Stein 2016

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week we’ll address the status of the recount request by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. StateImpact PA reporters join us for a look at gas drilling in the commonwealth. We’ll open a reporter’s notebook to get the story behind the story of the Pittsburgh Legionnaires’ outbreak. We’ll also mark the 75 th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Dressed in all black, Tamara Tunie stands on the stage of the City Theatre, which has been transformed into a supper club, complete with tables and candlelit lamps. She’s singing “Papa Loves Mambo.” Most people know Tunie as Dr. Melinda Warner from “Law & Order: SVU,” but she wasn’t always solving TV crimes. “A lot of people don’t know I have a degree in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon,” she says. Tunie’s back in town for her show, “Tamara Tunie: Legends from the ‘Burgh,”...

Marcus Charleston / WESA

Food makers, consumers and regulators have sparred back and forth over what constitutes “healthy” in food labeling for years. Last year, the makers of Kind Bars battled over their snacks’ nutrition merits . Recently, the Food and Drug Administration even asked people to weigh in on a new standard for "healthy" food . But for Pittsburgh-based nutrition bar company NuGo, the focus is simple. “Taste comes first,” said David Levine, president of NuGo Nutrition. Started in 2001 in Oakmont, the...

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program.

Brian Siewiorek / WESA

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week we'll look at some of the environmental issues impacting the region including the detection of methane leaks under the streets. Also, municipal leaders from across the country are in Pittsburgh for the National League of Cities conference. Our guests will fill us in on the topics the conference is addressing. We'll also discuss U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton's tenure now that he has announced his resignation.

Marcus Charleston / WESA

Giordan Dixon, 16, stuck to his script at the new Homewood – Brushton YMCA on Bennett Street in Homewood South. “I want to be a singer and a music producer,” he said, guiding small tours. Dixon lit up while showing off the center's recording studios, mixing boards and booths. Like a lot of teens lately, the aspiring entertainer spends hours pouring over the facility's new music education suite studying artist development and vocal training as part of YMCA's Creative Youth Center . "You can...

Darron Cummings / AP

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week our panel of journalists discuss the presidential election results and the resignation of Police Chief Cameron McLay . We'll also check in with reporters in Harrisburg for a conversation on how the commonwealth's election results will impact the House and Senate .

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. The Confluence broadcasts live from Point Park University ’s Center for Media Innovation . As the 2016 election season winds down a panel of journalists join us to discuss the presidential and senate races. We’ll also examine how the media has covered the elections.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

The candidates looking to become the state’s next attorney general met for their third and final debate in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Jessica Griffin / Philadelphia Inquirer, via AP Pool

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. The s entencing of former Attorney General Kathleen Kane on felony perjury charges leads our look at this week’s news stories. Also on the program, a wrap-up of the legislative session in Harrisburg and we’ll discover why Pittsburgh lags behind the state and nation on some important economic indicators.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Holding her newly minted citizenship certificate and voter registration application, Sumebha Gupta grinned. “I just wanted to give my vote to be counted,” she said. Gupta is one of 39 people who became a United States citizen this month, many of whom cited the upcoming presidential election as their major motivation. “I feel excited," said Omar Coker, originally form Sierra Leone. He said registering to vote was "definitely a must." Naturalization applications tend to surge during...

Joshua Franzos / The Heinz Endowments

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. We’ll discuss the faculty strike at Pennsylvania’s 14 state universities . Also, we’ll discover what ideas were suggested to improve the quality of life for Pittsburghers at the P4 Conference . From a White House -driven police initiative to the release of a crime report we’ll take a look at police issues.

University of Pittsburgh

The Confluence – where the news comes together -- is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week we look at the New Frontier's Conference at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, job growth and state Senate hearings on charter schools.

Chuck Szmurko / Wikipedia

Though Pittsburgh lost out on the $50 million Smart Cities grant, city officials are still participating in a project called MetroLab , under the same federal initiative. The MetroLab network is a city-university partnership that’s part of the White House’s Smart Cities project, where schools serve as research and development arms. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are working together on the project. Pittsburgh will act as the test bed for the technology that’s...

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Diabetes cases are continuing to rise in the U.S. and according to the World Health Organization , the disease is projected to be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030. “I’m not exactly sure why but there’s a region of the United States where there’s an increased incidence of diabetes,” says Dr. Jennifer Holst , an endocrinologist with the Allegheny Health Network , focused on the treatment of disease. Western Pennsylvania is part of this region, extending up from the South, known as the...

CREDIT SAUL LOEB/JIM WATSON / GETTY IMAGES, VIA NPR

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week’s topics include: We'll look at the latest presidential race poll s as well as Pennsylvania and Ohio's status as swing states in the election. We'll also have the latest on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians strike. Later in the program we'll discuss some of the city's top news stories of the past week.

Marcus Charleston / WESA

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalists, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines, taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week it was announced that beginning in December Pittsburgh will become a one newspaper town. We'll look at the impact the Tribune Review dropping its print edition has on the city's journalism landscape. Health issues are also in the news. We'll discuss Governor Tom Wolf's urging of state lawmakers to combat PA's opioid epidemic and Mylan CEO Heather Bresch's Epipen profits testimony on Capitol Hill. Our look ahead, looks back at golf legend Arnold Palmer .

Evan Vucci / AP

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program . Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Topics for this week include a discussion of the Marcellus Shale Insight conference which took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center . We'll try to discover what issues are on the agenda for state lawmakers as they return to Harrisburg. Looking ahead we'll discover what Pittsburgh-related items are on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Joseph B. Fay Co.

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program . Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Topics scheduled for this week's discussion include the myriad transportation issues facing the city. Plans to help immigrants in Pittsburgh thrive and the virtual dead heat in the U.S. Senat e race between Democrat Katie McGinty and Republican Pat Toomey .

Point Park University (L), The Incline (R)

Tuesday marks the official launch of two new media ventures in Pittsburgh. The Incline , sister site to Philadelphia-based Billy Penn , opened and closed its burgeoning website early Tuesday. Editor Lexi Belculfine, formerly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , said the North Side-based company will offer aggregated content , original reporting and networking events. Across the Allegheny, Point Park University’s $2.5 million Center for Media Innovation, led by former Pittsburgh Tribune-Review...

Justin Wier / 90.5 WESA

Rich Lattanzi said he never aspired to be the mayor of Clairton. He worked as a pipe-fitter for U.S. Steel, but serving as an athletic director for the basketball program at a local Catholic school and working as a baseball coach brought him into contact with the city’s youth. He voiced some concerns at a city council meeting and someone told him they could use him in the mayor’s office. “I said, ‘I don’t know anything about politics,’” Lattanzi said. “And I remember the guy said, ‘Exactly,...

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

90.5 WESA’s weekly news program The Confluence – where the news comes together – debuts Friday. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

National Parks Service

That National Parks Service is 100 years old today. The government agency was created on Aug. 25, 1916, but a slew of celebratory events have taken place all over the country since January. And today, it’s free to visit any of the 450 national parks. Locally, the service maintains several heritage, historical and memorial sites, including the Rivers of Steel , Oil Region , Allegheny Portage Railroad , Friendship Hill , Johnstown Flood , Flight 93 Memorial and Fort Necessity . “While none of...

ForAllSecure

A recent Carnegie Mellon University win at a hacking competition in Las Vegas is helping put Pittsburgh on the map as a cyber security hub. CMU startup ForAllSecure earned $2 million earlier this month at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Cyber Grand Challenge, with an autonomous computer that can find security weaknesses and defend against malware , CEO David Brumley said. Friendly hackers have participated in capture the flag contests, in which teams or individuals are...

Justin Wier / 90.5 WESA

McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania is just 15 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. It has a rich history. The first American Eagle Outfitters opened there in 1912. A native American burial mound in the borough is the earliest place of human habitation in the region. But while Pittsburgh is experiencing a renaissance, the blue-collar borough is still struggling to get back on track.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Residents of Coraopolis are volunteering time and energy into revitalizing the borough’s train station. We’ll hear about the station’s history and the work being done to make the building an integral part in the rebuilding of the community in this audio post card.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

The Fab Lab at the Carnegie Science Center is using its 3-D printer to make prosthetic hands. The “e-Nable the Future” program allowed visitors to take part in a workshop utilizing this technology. Essential Pittsburgh producer Marcus Charleston attended the workshop. The Remake Learning series is a collaboration of 90.5 WESA, WQED, Pittsburgh Magazine and NEXTpittsburgh.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Singer-songwriter Benjamim Scheuer 's critically-acclaimed, autobiographical, one-man show The Lion is currently onstage at City Theatre . Scheuer performed three new songs, "American Flowers," "Reykjavik" and "Williamstown" exclusively for Essential Pittsburgh.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

As governments become more equipped with intelligence and technology, future wars may take place on a keyboard instead of a battlefield. In his novel Ghost Fleet , Peter Singer , senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC melds fact and fiction in addressing the future potential of cyber war. He recently addressed the topic as a guest of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh . 
In order to preserve authenticity, Singer and his team went out and talked with people who could potentially be in these roles if a cyber war were to ensue---anyone from Navy ship captains to anonymous hackers. Approximately four hundred end notes in the novel refer back to his extensive research. Though Singer has published numerous non-fiction works, he found creating fiction, "both liberating and challenging.”

Keeping Reporting At The Center of the Newshour

Sep 30, 2015
90.5 WESA

Veteran reporter James Coomarasamy has been a BBC correspondent in Moscow, Warsaw, Paris and Washington. Some of the stories he has covered are President Obama’s 2008 election, Russian opposition to Putin and much more. In Pittsburgh, for the Public Radio Program Directors Conference, James Coomarasamy, joined us in studio on the same day as news broke of Russian air strikes over Syria. When asked if this is an action that could bring President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin together Coomarasamy responds, “Whether it’s something that brings America or the west more broadly back together with Russia remains to be seen.”

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