Stephanie Riegel

Ken Stewart

December 11, 2015

To be a great city you have to have great performing arts organizations. For nearly 70 years, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra has been delighting audiences in the Capital Region with performances that rival those found in any major market in America.

The organization’s Executive Director is Cary Byrd.

Ken Stewart

You may know about Baton Rouge’s growing tech industry, but you may not be aware one of the pioneers of internet retailing is right here in the capital region. was founded in 1998, growing from a mom-and-pop barbeque equipment store to one of the top 300 online retailers in the U.S.  It’s also one of the 100 fastest-growing companies on and off line, with annual revenues heading for $75-million. CEO Corey Tisdale joins Stephanie Riegel this week.

Ken Stewart

If you're driving down the highway almost anywhere in this country you're likely going to see a Lamar Billboard. And while you may know  that Lamar is one of Baton Rouge's biggest companies, you might not realize it's also one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the U.S. Lamar has more than 144-thousand billboards in the US, Canada and Peurto Rico and more than $1.8 billion last year in revenue, and it all started out as a little family business in the deep south.

Editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report,  Stephanie Riegel, takes time out of her busy day to join us in studio for the first half of today's show. She and Jim start off by discussing the recently developed feud that's emerged between Mayor Kip Holden and his one-time Chief Administrative Officer Walter Monsour, over funding for the Redevelopment Authority. Monsour, the RDA Executive Director, announced Monday his plan to refill the RDA's shrinking budget with $3 million from the city; a move that overruled Mayor Holden. And Holden, in retaliation, came out accusing Monsour and the RDA of reckless spending and an inability to work well with others; Holden also then criticized Monsour's annual salary of $350,000. Stephanie also discuss an article she wrote pertaining to the upcoming closure of Highland Coffees.

Also, two Tangipahoa natives and State Representatives from different parties join us over the phone for the last half of today's show: Rep. Chris Broadwater (R) and Rep. John Bel Edwards (D). They join us in a rare display of bipartisanism to discuss their efforts to help fix some of the problems surrounding the Office of Group Benefits since its funding has been depleted. They also discuss the upcoming Amendments on the November 4th ballot that deal with changes to Louisiana's hospitals and healthcare system.

THURSDAY: Stephanie Riegel and John Bell Edwards.

Mar 6, 2014

Jim Engster interviews "The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report" editor, Stephanie Riegel about legislation to reform political fundraising activities in Louisiana, her responsibilities at the magazine, the rise of digital media tools and platforms in publishing, the St. George movement to break away from Baton Rouge to create their own city and other current topics.  State Representative John Bell Edwards discusses his run for governor in 2015, a recent poll of his appeal to voters compared to other candidates, his West Point education, military service, his LSU Law School education, his political career, his views of Governor Jindal's record, and pending legislation in the upcoming legislative session.