Look Who’s Been Promoted: Business First’s Lisa Benson and Louisville Tourism’s Cleo Battle

Not from around here are you? There are plenty of people who have adopted the ‘Ville as their hometown like this week’s guests on the city’s longest-running and most interesting podcast. Lisa Benson and Cleo Battle both have high-profile positions and great impact on the business community here.

Benson is just weeks into her new job as publisher of Business First, and she explains how the paper has thrived in a media environment that suffered another casualty when Insider Louisville announced it is shutting down Aug. 7. Benson, from Oklahoma City, started at the bottom in the world of business journals right out of school, and quickly moved up to the top spot at the Louisville paper.

Cleo Battle came to Louisville after a 12-year stint in Richmond, but he grew up in Denver. But he’s always worked in the tourism industry, and it was no surprise to insiders when he was recently promoted to Chief Operating Officer at Louisville Tourism. He’s overseeing a study that will put the city on a path to grow its tourism numbers from 16.4 million per year to 25 million by 2030. We talked in his corner office overlooking the Ohio River.

The news that Insider Louisville is shutting down came as a surprise to me, but then I could never figure out how those behind the site were spending so much money on personnel and office space with little evidence of enough income to sustain it. I give you some history on the site and what it means for local journalism to lose Insider. Also, I experienced the city as a tourist last weekend, and was amazed at the activity downtown. And our misguided governor inserted his foot in his mouth again, saying, without evidence, that there’s a suicide every day that can be traced to that evil activity, gambling.

The show is sponsored by Passport Health Plan, the Eye Care Institute, Heuser Health and is recorded at the ReMax Properties East Studio in the East End. For information on local real estate, or help in finding a new home, call me, Rick Redding, at 502-439-6391.

Cleo Battle

Lisa Benson

 

At the Omni Hotel Pool

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