'Nightly Business Report' to leave Miami after CNBC purchase

02/21/2013 4:24 PM

02/24/2013 9:17 AM

The plug is being pulled on Miami’s homegrown Nightly Business Report ’s South Florida operation.

CNBC announced Thursday that it intends to purchase the rights to the evening business news program from investment firm Atalaya Capital Management. The show will continue to air on public television, but beginning March 4 it will be produced by CNBC employees from its headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Terms of the deal were not released.

“We are proud to take the reins of television’s longest-running business program,” Mark Hoffman, chief executive officer and president of CNBC said in statement. “Our goal is to utilize our global editorial resources to both preserve and strengthen Nightly Business Report .”

All but one of the show’s 21 employees were told Thursday that their jobs were being eliminated after the March 1 broadcast. Co-anchor and Managing Editor Tom Hudson said he is among the nine full-time and three part-time employees in Miami whose jobs were impacted. The layoffs also included employees in Washington D.C. and New York. Employees will receive severance packages, the details of which were not released.

The only Nightly Business Report employee who will remain is co-anchor Susie Gharib, who is based in New York. Gharib will now co-anchor the half-hour show with CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen.

Employees will be invited to apply for positions with CNBC, but there will be no openings in Miami.

“It’s a disappointing day for me personally as a leader in the Miami newsroom,” said Hudson, who hopes to continue writing his weekly column for The Miami Herald and pursue other opportunities in financial journalism. “I think it’s a matter of economics, and CNBC already has resources in place that they can leverage with this program. I do have full confidence that the NBR legacy is safe and its future is bright with our colleagues at CNBC.”

The sale marks the end of an era for the Nightly Business Report , which was launched in January 1979 by WPBT-PBS 2, Miami’s public television station. Linda O'Bryon and Merwin Sigale were the first co-anchors. The program was picked up for national distribution in 1981 and is currently broadcast to 96 percent of U.S. television households.

“This change keeps Nightly Business Report on public television and gives the program something that it has never had — the backing and editorial resources of a worldwide newsgathering organization,” said Rick Schneider, president and chief executive of WPBT, which will remain the presenting station for the show.

A previous version of this article misstated the initial role of Paul Kangas when the show launched in 1979.

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