At least for now, MPT has licensed the brand to Salkin only for use on the website. Salkin said he hopes there will be opportunities for his venture to strike up other online partnerships with public television networks across the country, which could mean more revenue for both Salkin and MPT.
MPT never licensed the "Wall $treet Week" name to Rukeyser, who nonetheless launched various entrepreneurial side businesses, such as newsletters and financial advice cruise tours, and made millions of dollars from his national exposure across hundreds of public television stations.
While MPT made millions from underwriters for "Wall $treet Week," the station did not profit from Rukeyser's ventures, a sore point for some at the station. After being fired from MPT in 2003, Rukeyser took a version of his show to cable television for a couple of years. He died in 2006.
Anne T. Darlington, who created "Wall $treet Week" in 1970, said she never resented that Rukeyser made money off his fame, but she was disappointed that the station didn't do more with the well-known brand. In the early 1980s, Darlington pushed MPT to file for trademark protection so that no one else could profit off the name. She questioned the online venture.
"If they had done the program properly, it would still be on the air," Darlington said. "It's a state asset. In my opinion, the state should not be licensing that name to somebody who has a chance to make quite a lot of money out of it."
But Gomery said it was smart for MPT to try to make at least some money from the "Wall $treet Week" brand. After all, it doesn't have the resources to resurrect the show.
"It does have value," said Gomery, who has followed MPT closely for years. "I would argue it's not a bad thing for the state. The state is looking for revenues. It's trying to revitalize certain assets that it owns."