New ‘Nightly Business Report’ Owner Put Under the Media Microscope

By Alex Weprin 

Last week we reported that Miami PBS station WPBT had sold one of its signature programs, the “Nightly Business Report,” to a group of investors led by former MMA manager Mykalai Kontilai.

Today, Current, a newspaper which covers the public broadcasting industry, and is affiliated with New York’s, published a story looking at the somewhat sketchy past of NBR’s new owner.

Specifically, the author Dru Sefton looks into the more than 20 civil suits leveled against Kontilai or his companies.

“I’m not going to talk about lawsuits,” Kontilai told Current. “I was told this interview would be about NBR and I’d like to focus on that.” He added that as an entrepreneur, “you do have a failure from time to time and hopefully use the experience to grow and hopefully be more successful.”

“Nightly Business Report” is one of the most respected business programs on television, and by some measures is also the most-viewed. It will continue to air on PBS stations across the country under the new owners, who also sound like they have international plans in mind for the NBR brand.

Still, the troubling history of the program’s new ownership will likely make some executives at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting uncomfortable.