Is The Revised ‘Wall Street Week’ an Infomercial, Groundbreaking Or Both?

By Brian Flood Comment

“Wall Street Week,” the iconic weekly recap of all things finance which ran for 35 years on PBS, is about to get a revival. But, in an acknowledgment of changing economics of  TV, the new version of the show will pay stations to carry it. Yup, infomercial-style.

Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge Capital is reviving the show that originally aired from 1970 to 2005. The original “Wall Street Week,” hosted by Louis Rukeyser, featured discussions on all the relevant financial news of the week. Scaramucci’s version premieres on April 19 with one little catch… he’s paying stations to air it. Scaramucci and his team prefer it this way and feel the strategy will catch on.

“I’m looking at the world the way it is, not the way it was. I’m going to buy this time and go out to the advertising community. This way I can control everything,” Scaramucci told TVNewser. “I don’t want anyone to control the content of what we’re doing.”

Scaramucci, who is a Fox Business Network contributor, bought the rights to “Wall Street Week” but he didn’t go the conventional route when finding a network to air it. The show will not be airing on FBN and has nothing to do with the network.

Scaramucci is well aware of the challenge he’s signed up for. “We have a very hot show, very hot production team,” Scaramucci said before joking about his experience. “The weakest link is me. Because I’ve never hosted a show.”

The show will air on stations — mostly Fox affiliates across the country — who will sell time to Scaramucci’s team. So far affiliates in New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and San Francisco have signed up. The original version aired on 300 stations nationwide, so Scaramucci has some catching up to do. One benefit to this unorthodox strategy is the ability to control how the show’s content is distributed digitally.

“I’m a great believer in appointment television, but I recognize my children are getting their content differently from my demographic,” Scaramucci said. “If we hit this thing right, you’ll see other people hitting this space the way we were.”

Former CNBCers Susan Krakower and Raymond Borelli have joined SkyBridge to oversee development, programming and distribution for the show’s revival. The revised program will reportedly feature an impressive roster of guests and has been updated with a modern look. Scaramucci said his “peers will want to be on a show like this because they’ll want to be on a peer-to-peer conversation.”

The show will also be streamed on wallstreetweek.com.

Update: An earlier version of this story said Scaramucci was “unable” to find a network to air the program, but a SkyBridge spokesperson tells TVNewswer they never tried and purchasing airtime was the original plan.

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