“Nightly Business Report,” the business news show that airs every week night on PBS stations around the country, has been sold to a private company headed by Mykalai Kontilai, a former manager of mixed martial artists and distributor of instructional television programs.
It had been owned by its founder, WPBT-TV in Miami. Terms were not disclosed.
Elizabeth Jensen of the New York Times reports, “The acquisition of the show, which Mr. Kontilai said was completed on Friday, was announced to the staff on Wednesday. The move is the second major change in the last year for the half-hour show. In December, the co-anchor Paul Kangas, who had been with the show since its founding 31 years ago, retired, and the program got a major redesign, with Tom Hudson in Miami and Susie Gharib at the New York Stock Exchange as co-anchors. About 500,000 viewers tune in nightly.
“Like many public television programs, ‘Nightly Business Report’ has struggled recently to find enough corporate underwriting sponsors. Mr. Kontilai, in a telephone interview, said he and his business partner, Gary Ferrell, a former president and chief executive of North Texas Public Broadcasting, approached WPBT in February. ‘I identified ‘Nightly Business Report’ as a program I felt could be expanded, could be propagated on a worldwide level because of the topic being a broad topic,’ he said.
“He said that he had already begun talking to international distribution outlets and that international deals could potentially attract more corporate sponsors. In addition, he said he sees educational licensing opportunities, and was approached about a radio spinoff. The show will have a new Web site separate from its current presence on www.pbs.org.”
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