I talked in the past day to two people in business journalism on TV whose careers were influenced by Louis Rukeyser, the former “Wall Street Week” host who died earlier this week. Here are their comments:
Consuelo Mack, whose show “WealthTrack” airs on Friday nights, and who guest hosted for Rukeyser when his show was on CNBC: “He was a pioneer in business journalism on television. He brought Wall Street to Main Street in a very entertaining fashion. He was the only business news that most Americans heard on a weekly basis, or any basis whatsoever for 20 years. CNBC and FNN came on board in the late 1980s, and Lou was on the air for 32 years. He really was ahead of his time because most Americans didnâ€™t own stocks when Louis started broadcasting.. The biggest ratings for that program were his opening remarks.
“Business news is still not a priority for broadcasting. We have CNBC, but most nightly business broadcasts, if they cover the market or business at all, itâ€™s very cursory. There is no context, and they just donâ€™t cover the financial news on a regular basis. Itâ€™s second to sports and third to entertainment. Lou really brought it to the fore and led the way for the rest of us.”
Linda Oâ€™Bryon, the senior vice president and general manager of NBR Enterprises/WPBT2, which produces â€œNightly Business Report,â€? seen nationally on more than 250 public television stations, said, â€œLouis Rukeyser had a keen intellect â€¦ with a great ability to turn a phrase. It was a powerful combination that helped demystify financial information for millions of viewers, over many years. His pioneering work paved the way for broader coverage of investment information on television.â€?