‘Nightly Business’ Staying the Course

Oct 21, 2007  •  Post A Comment

What? “Nightly Business Report” worry about the birth of another cable channel offering instant gratification and nonstop chatter about the financial world?
Not when staying its 27-year course of capping the American business day with a half-hour of analysis and context, which has earned a loyal audience that is larger, less gray and more professional than its younger, louder and flashier cable competitors’.
The advent of Fox Business Network last week does not change “Nightly Business Report’s” mission, executive editor Rodney Ward said. “Our aim is to continue to be more analytical.”
Put another way: “We are a trusted filter. We sift through the reams of data and information that people feel bombarded with both online and on the 24-hour channels,” said Stuart Zuckerman, the program’s sales and marketing VP.
The show’s viewers “want to have a broader view of what’s going on and what’s been happening behind the headlines” than the audience following the ups and downs of the market on CNBC, FBN or other cable news outlets, Mr. Ward said. “What people are looking for is more analysis, more insight, more context.”
“Nightly Business Report” was launched in 1979 by Miami public broadcast station WPBT-TV as a regional program and given national distribution in 1981 by the Public Broadcasting Service. Today, it reaches 93 percent of the country via more than 250 public TV stations (in addition to overseas viewers via satellite and Armed Forces Radio and TV).
For budget reasons, “Nightly Business Report” contracts for audience data from Nielsen Media Research only in February and November. The numbers from the Nielsen TV Index for February 2007 show the program averaging 730,000 total viewers (flat year-to-year), 217,000 of them in the target news demo of adults 25 to 54, and 312,000 adults 35-64, a demo that is perhaps more business-news friendly.
Those figures more than double the breakdown of the audience for CNBC’s signature afternoon program, “Closing Bell,” in February: 311,000 total viewers, 95,000 adults 25 to 54, and 151,000 adults 35 to 64.
Moreover, more than 80 percent of “Nightly Business Report” viewers do not watch CNBC at any time during the day, according to special unduplicated Nielsen research commissioned by Mr. Zuckerman. He needed to be able to show potential corporate sponsors how selective public TV viewers are and how unlikely the corporations are to be able to reach them on 24-hour channels.
The February Nielsen data showed 55 percent of “Nightly Business Report’s” viewers were older than 55, versus 74 percent for Fox News Channel’s “Your World With Neil Cavuto.”
The more recent indices from Mediamark Research also show the “Nightly Business Report” viewer is 70 percent more likely to be president of a company than the average U.S. adult, vs. the CNBC viewer (39 percent more likely), Fox News (27 percent) and CNN (22 percent).
MRI research shows the “Nightly Business Report” viewer is more likely to own more than $150,000 in stocks (a 451 index) than the CNBC viewer (a 191 index), CNN viewer (a 166 index) or Fox News Channel viewer (a 146 index).


  1. The Last of the good old business reports.
    Wall Street Week is gone but Nightly Business
    Report from Miami still exists. That is amazing
    It is real American Business News “A Treasure”.

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  3. Hey how are you doing? I just wanted to stop by and say that it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back & read more in the future as well. plz do keep up the quality writing

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