What does The Burger King have in common with Business News on TV?

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At first look, you might not directly associate a Whopper and Fries with Cable TV Business News channels such as CNBC and Bloomberg. But without Burger King, you wouldn’t have business news on TV.

James_McLamoreJim McLamore was the co-founder of the restaurant chain made famous for letting you have it your way. He lived in Miami, and served on the board of WPBT, the PBS affiliate for South Florida. In the fall of 1978, Station Executive Linda O’Bryon was tasked with the job of coming up with late afternoon programming to compete with the local newscasts of the three commercial stations in the Miami market. According to McLamore’s autobiography, The Burger King, he recalls his suggestion of producing a wrap up show for the day’s business news as a cost effective way for the station to counter the traditional mix of news, weather and sports on the commercial broadcast fare.

His idea became Nightly Business Report (NBR), which has been a part of the PBS offerings since then. This show established the context for what business news would be on television. With the launch of dedicated business networks on cable such as CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business Networks, all these can trace their heritage and linage to NBR. In August 2010, WPBT-TV sold the show to NBR Worldwide Inc., a newly formed privately held company headed by Mykalai Kontilai who became the majority owner of the program. What could be considered a true stroke of irony, cable business network CNBC purchased the rights to show in February 2013 from NBR Worldwide and transferred the Miami news operations to their studios in New York City.

The show is still produced and distributed to PBS affiliates as a concise synopsis of the business happenings of that particular day.

— Various Sources

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