updated 3/24/2005 11:51:35 AM ET 2005-03-24T16:51:35

“Wall $treet Week,” a financial information program that became one of the longest-running national franchises in television, is retiring, Maryland Public Television said Thursday.

The final show of the 35-year-old PBS series will be produced June 24.

“This announcement signals the end of an era for us,” said Robert J. Shuman, president and CEO of Maryland Public Television, which produces the show.

The first version of the show, hosted by Louis Rukeyser, ran from 1970 to 2002. At its height, the Rukeyser show was carried by 300 stations, earned more than $6 million a year and was seen by 1.5 million viewers, one of the largest audiences of any weekly public television series.

Rukeyser quit in March 2002 rather than go along with executives’ plan to demote him and use younger hosts to update the format. Less than a month after his unexpected exit, Rukeyser debuted with “Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street,” on financial network CNBC, and his new show aired on some PBS stations.

On the PBS successor, “Wall $treet Week with FORTUNE,” hosting duties were performed by Geoffrey Colvin, editorial director of Fortune magazine, and former Fox News Channel correspondent Karen Gibes. The show struggled, keeping about 1 million viewers, but attracting less interest from underwriters, MPT said.

MPT executives attributed the loss of support to changes in the way modern Americans obtain financial advice, noting the variety of sources now available, such as the Internet.

Larry D. Unger, MPT’s chief operating officer, said the life of the show’s format ran its course.

“We were finding that underwriters are less inclined to target investors and market watchers with a public television weekly series,” Unger said.

Rukeyser’s CNBC show ceased production last year while he was being treated for cancer.

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