Louis Rukeyser, the financial commentator who was forced from his public television program after hosting it for 32 years, will debut a new show on CNBC next Friday that will compete with the program he is leaving.
"Louis Rukeysers Wall Street" will begin airing April 19 at 8:30 p.m., according to a statement issued by the well-known journalist. In addition, CNBC will make the program available to public television stations for rebroadcast.
Rukeyser, who for 32 years hosted the PBS show "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser," was fired by his partner, Maryland Public Television (MPT), last month after a contract dispute turned ugly, said Jeff Hankin, an MPT spokesman.
The trouble began when the station announced last month that it had partnered with Fortune magazine to create a new version of the program called "Wall Street Week with Fortune." In revamping the program, the PBS affiliate said it would relegate Rukeyser to the post of "senior commentator" and hand the host spot over to Fortune editorial director Geoffrey Colvin and a yet-to-be named co-host.
Rukeyser resigned in protest when he heard the news. He was, however, bound by his contract to continue hosting the show through June 28, which until last month was expected to be his last show. But MPT fired the 69-year-old journalist after he made references to the imbroglio -- and a new program that he would host elsewhere -- during the taping of what would be his last program last month.
CNBC disclosed nearly three weeks ago that the cable news channel was in talks with Rukeyser, and Rukeyser said last week on CNNs Larry King Live that he was "talking to a lot of people who want to develop and/or distribute this show with us. And Im not talking about some vague future announcement. Im saying well probably be ready next week to make the announcement."
It is expected that Rukeyser will appear on CNBC to comment on breaking business news in addition to hosting his weekly, half-hour show.
"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 rebroadcast on public televisions stations across the country," he said in a statement.
CNBC executives, meanwhile, crowed about successfully luring Rukeysers new program to their network. In a statement, one referred to Rukeyser as "a financial news pioneer." Another said the network was "excited to have the man who invented business news television join the team."
Rukeyser will continue to update his Web site as well as publish his newsletters, Louis Rukeysers Wall Street and Louis Rukeysers Mutual Funds.