The PBS business newscast “Nightly Business Report” has been acquired from WPBT Miami, according to the NY Times.
The buyer? A new company led by Mykalai Kontilai, who was most recently a manager for mixed martial artist Tito Ortiz. Kontilai is not a stranger to public television: before his MMA experience he was a distributor of television programs that many public stations broadcast overnight.
Writes the Times Elizabeth Jensen:
Rick Schneider, WPBT’s president and chief executive, said the program wasn’t for sale when Mr. Kontilai made the approach, but that the sale made sense for WPBT. “They are committed to what ‘NBR’ does and they have the ideas and resources and potential to take it to the next step,” he said. “It is at a point where they as a company can do more things with it than we as a station could.” The show will continue to be produced at WPBT.
Update: The official announcement is after the jump.
NEW PRIVATE ENTITY AQUIRES PBS’S NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT
Program Owned by PBS Station Bought by Private Company
Nightly Business Report Will Continue to Be Broadcast on PBS;
New International Expansion Planned
New York and Miami, August 18, 2010 — NBR Worldwide, Inc. has acquired “Nightly Business Report” â€“ America’s most-watched daily business news program announced today by Mykalai Kontilai, Chairman and CEO of NBR Worldwide, Inc. This historic occasion marks the first time that a premier nightly news broadcast produced specifically for PBS and owned by one of its affiliates has been acquired by a private entity.
Nightly Business Report, which is anchored by Susie Gharib and Tom Hudson, is watched by an estimated 500,000 viewers every evening and has been on the air for more than 30 years. The program will continue to be produced from Miami and New York, the only nightly news program broadcast from two cities simultaneously. NBR World Wide, Inc. will continue to work in concert with WPBT, Channel 2, which will continue as the presenting station of Nightly Business Report.
“We are extremely excited about expanding the opportunities available with the program while at the same time fully preserving and maintaining the mission and tradition of education and quality news reporting that have made both Nightly Business Report and PBS such a great success,” said Kontilai. “We will continue to produce the crisp, balanced, business reporting and analysis that viewers have come to expect while taking advantage of opportunities to expand the NBR brand and build upon the public education foundations that has driven and informed the audience for the last 30 years.”
The new ownership will maintain the values of Nightly Business Report while bringing the broadcast to a variety of new platforms. NBR Worldwide, Inc. is also announcing that it will expand the Nightly Business Report brand through targeted programs and social media, exploring new distribution arrangements, creating licensing opportunities, and lastly, launching an exciting new companion website to www.pbs.org, www.nbr.com. These expansions will bring Nightly Business Report content to more people worldwide, while building upon public televisions education mandate through planned financial education initiatives. These initiatives will be designed to reach a broad spectrum of Americans who will benefit from the reportage and unique information offered by Nightly Business Report.
Distributed by PBS, Nightly Business Report is carried by more than 250 public stations across the nation. NBR is also seen around the world, and program segments are available online and through various multi-media and educational platforms. NBR’s anchors and reporters have interviewed sitting presidents (George W. Bush, Reagan, Clinton) former presidents (Carter) and corporate chiefs — ranging from Jack Welch to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
For three decades, the award-winning Nightly Business Report has provided business news in a fast-paced, unbiased format. Timely investment information helps viewers manage their money and stay abreast of the news that affects their portfolios. Nightly Business Report premiered as a Miami regional program on January 22, 1979, with national distribution beginning in 1981. Nightly Business Report is distributed live to public television stations at 6:30pm EST every weeknight. Local broadcast times vary. The major sponsor is Franklin Templeton investments, with additional funding provided by Exxon Mobil.