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Jeff Engel runs the Wisconsin bureau for Xconomy.

Engel finds comfort zone with Xconomy

While taking a break Downtown, near the end of 2013, I had the chance to do some reflecting on the evolution of media in the past year and where we are headed.

It's easy to be introspective and retrospective when one needs to purchase a new calendar. Most journalists slow down and take vacation time around the holidays. It is a good time to recharge those batteries for what's next. Here we are in mid-January, and most of us are still wondering what we may be seeing next week and next month.

One area journalist, though, didn't have time for the reflection. He had to get to work right away.

Jeff Engel, the former manufacturing and technology reporter for The Business Journal, started his new gig in December, and with it, had to pull together a ton of content.

With the help of some of the firms other editors, Engel launched the Wisconsin Bureau of Xconomy.

"We had to make a splash on the first day," Engel said, talking with me about the stories on the site at the time of making it public.

When reported on the launch, the focus on the reporting would cover firms involved in life sciences, advanced manufacturing, health, energy, water technology and other areas.

That's held true for the 30 days the local page has been running.

"I was covering business startups, bio tech companies and IT," Engel said. "This seemed like a great fit."

Engel, a graduate of Marquette, worked an internship at the Business Journal before taking his first writing position, covering business and news at the News-Herald in Marshfield. Through that post, Engel and I shared the welcome chore of once covering health stories from the Marshfield Clinic, one of the more progressive health care systems in Wisconsin.

Any reporter or editor tasked with taking highly-technical material and presenting it for a general readership, understands full well the challenge that brings. But the process also builds skills that translate to other industries pretty well.

In business coverage, sometimes the strongest job sectors actually get missed.

"Some find it surprising that advanced manufacturing, at this scale, still exists in Wisconsin," Engel said.

Now, with this venture, he gets to tell those in the Badger State and throughout the world some of the innovative and ground-breaking work taking place in our back yard.

ECONOMY: Fox Business Network's Liz Claman will report live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland next week.

The annual meeting on Jan. 22 -24 features 2,500 leaders from more than 100 countries addressing current challenges and future risks in the global economy.

Live coverage will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning and feature interviews and commentary from top economists, business leaders and industry executives.

Scheduled to appear are Aetna Chairman, President and CEO Mark Bertolini; NASDAQ CEO Bob Greifeld; Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent; Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat; Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska; Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn; and Dow Chemical Chairman, President and CEO Andrew Liveris, among others.


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