Rukeyser's on-air complaints prompt MPT to fire host who was to leave show in June

March 25, 2002|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER

Maryland Public Television, which had decided to force Louis Rukeyser from the anchor's chair on Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser, fired him yesterday after his caustic remarks about the broadcaster.

MPT President and CEO Robert J. Shuman told the Associated Press: "We were surprised and saddened that he chose to use the show as a medium to air contract disputes and promote his new show. The purpose of the show is anything but that."

The broadcaster announced last week a partnership with Fortune magazine for a new generation of the show. Rukeyser rejected a diminished role on the show and was to leave when his contract lapsed in June.

"The commentary was entirely professional," Rukeyser said last night. "The very classy executives at Maryland Public Television were astonished that I would actually level with viewers."

Rukeyser started his Friday program with these remarks: "A funny thing happened to me on the way to the studio this week -- I got ambushed."

He said that he will have a show with a new broadcaster and encouraged fans to urge their PBS affiliates to carry his show.

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