OLD Media Moves

Financial TV's pioneer looks back

July 22, 2009

Baltimore Sun business columnist Jay Hancock profiles Anne Darlington, the Maryland Public Television employee who came up with the idea for “Wall Street Week” with Louis Rukeyser.

Hancock writes, “The viewers were there. They just didn’t know it. Americans were saving. Women were joining the workforce. Yet the stock market was still seen as occult art.

“‘I was in the same group,’ Darlington said. ‘I thought, if I can put together a program that demystifies Wall Street, cuts out all the jargon, talks about not just how to save your money but how to conserve it, how to invest it wisely, how to make choices, how to understand if you’re being sold a bill of goods — if I can do that, I can get an audience.’

“She did. In some markets, Wall Street Week drew a bigger audience than commercial stations. Rukeyser left ABC to work full time for MPT and started making jillions from speeches and newsletters.

“Articles in The New Yorker and The New York Times have mentioned Darlington once or twice over the years, but she doesn’t get enough credit for launching the form that Rukeyser came to personify. Last month, MPT gave her an award named after Breitenfeld for ‘visionary leadership in public media.'”

Read more here.

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