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Rukeyser Says He Can’t Be Fired

March 26, 2002

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) _ Louis Rukeyser, who was fired from his namesake show by Maryland Public Television, said he didn’t work for the company to begin with.

``MPT cannot ‘fire’ me because I am not now, and never have been, its employee,″ Rukeyser said in a statement, noting their contract to produce the show expires in June.

MPT, which announced last week that it was reformatting the program, ``Wall $treet Week with Louis Rukeyser, fired the host Sunday because he used his weekly introduction on Friday’s show to promote his new program.

MPT president and chief executive Robert J. Shuman didn’t immediately return an Associated Press phone call seeking comment Monday.

Rukeyser, who gives a commentary at the opening of each show, started Friday’s program by criticizing MPT for the new show’s format. He also thanked viewers for their ``amazing outpouring of support″ after the station announced last week that he would no longer be the show’s host.

``Another weekly program with me as host and commentator will be on television,″ he said. ``I want to assure all our loyal viewers ... that Louis Rukeyser will still be very much around.″

Rukeyser told the audience that the ``woods are full of smart television executives who are wonderfully excited at the prospect of producing the new Louis Rukeyser program.″ He also asked viewers to write to their local public television stations and demand that they air his new show.

On Monday, Rukeyser said the two sides would split after the contract ends June 30, 2002, but his production company was ``ready, as always, to live up to its end of the deal.″

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