Nightly Business Report lays off staff, closes Chicago bureau

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Nightly Business Report has laid off at least seven staffers and closed its Chicago bureau, Chicago media critic Robert Feder is reporting.

“These are all broadcast professionals,” Tom Hudson, the show’s managing editor and co-anchor, told Feder. “They possess the unique ability to cut through economic jargon and dense statistics to uncover stories with meaning and impact. I consider it an honor to call them colleagues.”

The past several years have been tumultuous for NBR. Longtime owner WBPT-TV in Miami sold the program to a controversial educational video salesman, Mykalai Kontilai, in 2010. His firm, NBR Worldwide, cut eight positions, including two top newsroom managers. Then, in 2011, NBR Worldwide’s investor, Atalaya Capital Management, took control and installed Rick Ray, a veteran media exec who built cable producer Raycom Sports, to head the program.

The show has also been struggling financially. Last August the show lost its sole underwriter, Franklin Templeton Investments. “The likelihood of yet another sale is looming,” Feder notes.

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information.

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