The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above to watch the full video.
On this episode, Margie Manning, finance editor of the St. Pete Catalyst joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst.
But first, Steinocher takes listeners through the Florida Chamber Scorecard for Pinellas County. He says the outlook is optimistic, as the percent of positive tests cases hovers at less than 2 percent, and the 14-day average of positive cases has stayed hovering around 20 per day, just short of the Pinellas County’s peak of 25 positive cases per day in April, though testing has widely expanded since then.
Manning shares her professional background, which started in radio journalism, followed by her work at the St. Louis Business Journal. Manning moved to St. Petersburg to start an ice cream shop on the beach with her husband and then went back to journalism in 2004 for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She joined the St. Pete Catalyst team in 2018.
Journalism at its best is a team activity, Manning says, which makes working from home during the pandemic challenging. She describes news at the start of the pandemic as a firehose, as cancellations and closures came streaming in, along with government orders and business stories about the pandemic. It has moderated a bit, since then, Manning explains, allowing her to be more choosy with coverage and go a little deeper, but she says there’s still a great deal out there to cover, which can be challenging for a small staff.
Manning says the story that she feels readers missed out on most was her Inside the Boardroom series. Released last week, the series is a deep dive on what Manning calls “proxy season,” in which public companies report on executive compensation, board practices and much more. Manning’s series focuses on the largest public companies in the area.
“It’s important information,” Manning explains. “People need to know about the corporate governance of public companies, and what makes them good citizens and responsible to their investors.”
Hamilton explains the operations of the Catalyst and how the small but mighty team works to cover civic, business and arts news.
Margie explains that though the Catalyst is St. Petersburg-focused, it is also focused on technology, an industry whose borders cross the bay. “Technology does not have the same sense of place that sports or other industries might have,” Manning says. “So we do cover technology on both sides of the bay, and cover it well.”