OUT TO LUNCH finds Baton Rouge Business Report Editor Stephanie Riegel combining her hard news journalist skills and food background: conducting business over lunch. Baton Rouge has long had a storied history of politics being conducted over meals, now the Capital Region has an equivalent culinary home for business: Mansur’s. Each week Stephanie holds court over lunch at Mansur’s and invites members of the Baton Rouge business community to join her. You can also hear the show on WRKF 89.3FM.
In historical Britain the three estates of the realm were the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The Fourth Estate is a segment of society that wields an indirect but significant influence on society, even though it is not a formally recognized part of the political system. The most commonly recognized part of the fourth estate is the news media.
However, these days, it's more difficult to ascertain just what kind of influence the news media exerts, between the competitive pressures posed by the internet, and the almost daily barrage of attacks from the most powerful seat in the country - and arguably the world - against the "fake news" media.
Stephanie's guests on this edition of Out to Lunch have some unique insights on the subject.
Rolfe McCollister is the owner of Louisiana Business Inc., a Baton Rouge based company that publishes the Baton Rouge Business Report, 225 magazine, and In Register, as well as dozens of special publications for contract clients. Rolfe is also the consummate entrepreneur: he founded the Business Report, the company’s flagship publication, in 1982, when he was just 26 years, and he still writes an influential and often controversial opinon column in each biweekly issue. In the interest of full disclosure, Rolfe also happens to be Stephanie's employer, but that doesn’t make him any less interesting of a guest.
Jim Engster is one of the best known media figures in Baton Rouge. Jim is the president and owner of The Louisiana Radio Network, which produces and distributes news content to dozens of affiliates throughout the state. Jim also produces and hosts two daily radio shows—Talk Louisiana on WRKF and The Jim Engster Show on 107.3-FM in the afternoon. He is also the owner of Tiger Rag Magazine, the self-proclaimed bible of LSU sports.
Jim got his start in journalism as an LSU student in the late 1970s and has been affiliated with the Louisiana Radio Network since the 1980s. He acquired the network in 2010. Jim is also a political analyst for WAFB-TV due in part, no doubt, to his encyclopedic knowledge of local politics.
If you're looking for insight into what's going on in Baton Rouge, you've come to the right lunch table!