Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Last Goodnight

My Way News reports that "Television Host Louis Rukeyser Dies"

Here's the gist:
Louis Rukeyser, a best-selling author, columnist, lecturer and television host who delivered pun-filled, commonsense commentary on complicated business and economic news, died Tuesday. He was 73.

Rukeyser died at his home in Greenwich after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a rare bone marrow cancer, said his brother, Bud Rukeyser.

As host of "Wall $treet Week With Louis Rukeyser" on public TV from 1970 until 2002, Rukeyser took a wry approach to the ups and downs in the marketplace and urged guests to avoid jargon. He brought finance and economics to ordinary viewers and investors, and was rewarded with the largest audience in the history of financial journalism.

"He brings to the tube a blend of warmth, wit, irreverence, thrusting intellect and large doses of charm, plus the credibility of a Walter Cronkite," Money magazine wrote in a cover story.

"Our prime mission is to make previously baffling economic information understandable and interesting to people in general," he once said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Bud Rukeyser called his brother "a giant at what he did."

"He was a pioneer in economic reporting in television. Right up to the time he got ill, he was at the top of the heap," he said in a telephone interview.

Louis Rukeyser quit "Wall $treet Week" and moved to CNBC in March 2002 rather than go along with executives' plan to demote him and use younger hosts to update the format.

Maryland Public Television, which produced the show, said it was firing him after he used "Wall $treet Week" to complain about his producers. He contended the station could not fire him because he was never its employee.

Less than a month later, he debuted with "Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street" on financial network CNBC. The new show also aired on some PBS stations.

Neither his old show nor his new one lasted long after that.

Rukeyser's last appearance on his CNBC show was Oct. 31, 2003, after which he went on medical leave for surgery to relieve persistent pain in his back. In May 2004, he announced that doctors found a low-grade malignancy during a follow-up exam.

Later that year, Rukeyser asked CNBC to end production of his show, which had continued with guest hosts. The PBS successor to Rukeyser's show struggled, too, and Maryland Public Television pulled the plug in 2005.
The Blushing Bride and I watched his PBS show periodically, before he left the public network. We always appreciated his tongue-in-cheek style and his at-home composure. We will miss him.

May your journey home be swift, Mr. Rukeyser. Thank you for the service you gave us. Via con Deus!