Public TV gets nasty. Maryland public TV (MPT) fired Wall Street Week host, Louis Rukeyser today, given his on-air promotion of a new show that he was developing last week. Louis' actions were motivated by MPT's behind the back decision last week to end Louis' 32 year relationship with the show.
Get this. Wall Street Week has 2.6 m loyal viewers. About the same as it did 5 years ago. It is the most popular financial show in history. Louis created, wrote, and managed the program for 32 years. He is the soul of the show.
Sooo, what did MPT do? The media moguls in Owens Mills Maryland thought that the demographic of Louis' show was too old and that the sponsors would like it better if they jazzed it up. I don't know if it was MPT or Fortune that pitched the idea, but a managing editor of Fortune magazine is going to host the show.
Public TV has hit a low with this action. MPT's greed, lack of vision, disrespect, and disloyalty is a showcase of what public TV isn't supposed to be. Fortune's desire to steal Louis' show also reflects badly on the magazine. Granted, the publishing industry is having a tough time right now, but this isn't the way to make money. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]