Financial journalist Louis Rukeyser to return to TV on CNBC - opposite his old show

Tuesday, April 9th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(NEW YORK) - Financial journalist Louis Rukeyser, ousted by PBS after 32 years, will return to the air on CNBC next week in a manner seemingly designed to make things difficult for his old show.

The new program, ``Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street,'' debuts at 8:30 p.m. ET on April 19 on the cable news financial network.

That's the same Friday time slot that Rukeyser occupied on PBS, and he will directly compete with the revamped ``Wall $treet Week'' that fired him last month.

CNBC is also making Rukeyser's new show available to any PBS station that wants to rebroadcast it, although it won't be available on Friday nights. His CNBC show will run without advertising and with underwriter support _ the same format used by PBS shows.

``The network is allowing me to maintain the integrity and standards of my program, and they have decided to put the interests of my audience first by allowing this new program to be re-broadcast on public television stations across the country,'' Rukeyser said.

The 69-year-old Rukeyser's ugly exit from PBS began when his producers, Maryland Public Television, said they wanted to make a new version of ``Wall $treet Week'' with partners Fortune magazine and include Rukeyser in a reduced role.

Rukeyser objected, and Maryland Public Television fired him after he complained about his treatment and said on the March 22 edition of ``Wall $treet Week'' that he was developing a new show.

There was no immediate comment by Maryland Public Television about Rukeyser's new show.

To make room for Rukeyser, CNBC is cutting its business talk show ``America Now'' from an hour to a half hour on Friday nights.

Terms of the deal were not released. Rukeyser will be allowed to continue his side projects, including two newsletters, a Web site, conferences and investment cruises.