Hudson leaves ‘Nightly Business’ with no regrets

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It wasn’t supposed to end this way for Tom Hudson and his colleagues on Nightly Business Report: They’re out of work, but the show lives on.


CNBC announced Thursday that it was acquiring the long-running business news program that airs on public television stations nationwide, including WTTW-Channel 11 (at 11pm Monday through Friday). The only one of the show’s 18 full-time staffers to be retained will be Hudson’s co-anchor, Susie Gharib.


Starting March 4, Gharib will be joined by CNBC anchor Tyler Mathisen, with production of the program shifting from Miami to CNBC headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. It’s good news for the show, which has been struggling in recent years under multiple owners and dwindling financial support. Just two months ago, its Chicago bureau was closed and at least seven staffers were laid off.


Thanks to Mark Hoffman, president and CEO of CNBC (and news director of CBS 2 here in the early ’90s), the show will have the backing of a worldwide newsgathering organization — and a new lease on life. “Our goal is to utilize our global editorial resources to both preserve and strengthen Nightly Business Report, exposing its highly educated audience across 180 broadcast markets to CNBC’s already diverse multi-media offerings which include cable programming, a full suite of digital products, radio and our international networks and local language affiliates,” Hoffman said in a statement.


But it’s bad news for Hudson, the show’s managing editor and co-anchor, and most of his peers. Like many of the subjects of the stories they’ve reported, they suddenly find themselves out of work.


Before he replaced veteran anchor Paul Kangas on Nightly Business Report in 2010, Hudson was an award-winning business news journalist in Chicago. He hosted the nationally syndicated First Business for Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting, and was an anchor for the former WebFN financial news service and all-news WMAQ-AM.


“I am very proud of the work we accomplished at NBR,” Hudson told me when I caught up with him Thursday. “This is the program that helped invent modern financial television news more than 30 years ago. I consider myself honored to have worked with all the professional broadcasters considered part of the NBR family. Working to fulfill the high expectations of the NBR audience every night has been a rewarding experience. Working alongside NBR's talented staff has been among the professional highlights of my career.”


Saying he hopes to “continue to be involved in the industry I love,” Hudson added: “Anchoring, reporting and managing media is deeply gratifying. Communicating information and stories to an audience is as challenging as it is rewarding. After all, our political and economic system is founded upon the ideal of access to information and ideas. I will be joining millions of other Americans looking for new opportunities to apply my skills.”



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