Maria Bartiromo

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Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo (2015-02-25) (cropped).jpg
Bartiromo in 2015
Born
Maria Sara Bartiromo

(1967-09-11) September 11, 1967 (age 53)
NationalityAmerican
Alma materNew York University (BA)
OccupationFinancial journalist, television personality, columnist, news anchor
Years active1988–present
EmployerFox Corporation
Spouse(s)
Jonathan Steinberg
(m. 1999)
Websitebartiromo.com

Maria Sara Bartiromo[1] (born September 11, 1967) is an American financial journalist, television personality, news anchor, and author. She is the host of Mornings with Maria and Maria Bartiromo's Wall Street on the Fox Business Network as well as Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo on the Fox News Channel.

Bartiromo worked at CNN as a producer for five years before joining CNBC in 1993, where she worked on-air for 20 years. At CNBC, she was the host of Closing Bell and On the Money with Maria Bartiromo. She was the first television journalist to deliver live reports from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She has won a number of awards for her work on these programs, including a pair of Emmy Awards. Nicknamed the "Money Honey", she garnered considerable attention within the financial industry as well as in the general media. Her work for CNBC was largely non-political in its subject matter and approach. She sits on the boards of a number of non-profit and civic organizations.

In 2013, she left CNBC to host shows for Fox Corporation channels.[2] During the presidency of Donald Trump, she became a strong advocate of the Trump administration. Her Fox Business program was one of several programs that ran on-air corrections after pushing false claims about fraud in the 2020 presidential election.[3] The abrupt change in the content and focus of Bartiromo's work compared to that of the bulk of her career caused many media observers to wonder what was behind the change.[4][5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Bartiromo was born to Italian-American parents Vincent and Josephine Bartiromo, and was raised in the Dyker Heights area of the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn in New York City.[8][9][10][6] Her father was the owner of the Rex Manor restaurant in Brooklyn and her mother served as the hostess seating guests. Her mother also worked as a clerk at an off-track betting parlor.[11][12] Her mother’s family was from Agrigento, Sicily,[13] and arrived in the U.S. in 1898.[citation needed] Her grandfather, Carmine Bartiromo, arrived in New York from Nocera in Campania in 1933 and served in the U.S. armed forces.[14]

Bartiromo attended Fontbonne Hall Academy, an all-girls private Catholic school in Bay Ridge.[15] She worked at the same time as a coat check person in her father's restaurant and as a stock clerk at Kleinfeld's wedding dress shop.[11] She was fired from the latter for trying on newly arrived dresses before putting them away; she recalled "I cried the whole way home, but I learned a valuable lesson and that is – do your job."[11]

Bartiromo started college at C. W. Post, before transferring to New York University.[6] During her college years she worked at the same betting parlor where her mother worked.[16] She graduated from NYU's Washington Square Campus in 1989,[17] with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and economics.[18]

While at NYU she began with radio, and got an internship with talk host Barry Farber's show on WMCA 570 in New York after Farber visited a class she was in.[19][20] Farber was impressed by her willingness and capability in doing behind-the-scenes tasks associated with the role.[21][20] Following that, she interned at CNN.[11]

Career[edit]

CNN[edit]

Bartiromo at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in 2008

After her internship, which began in 1988/89, Bartiromo spent five years as an executive producer and assignment editor with CNN Business.[22] Her supervisor at CNN was Lou Dobbs, who later became a colleague at Fox Business News.[11][8] She also worked as a production assistant for Stuart Varney there.[23] While working at CNN, her goal was to be in front of the camera.[11]

CNBC[edit]

Live from the stock exchange floor[edit]

Bartiromo interviewing Mark Hurd in 2013

Bartiromo put together an audition tape to apply for an on-screen job at CNBC.[11] In 1993, she was hired by executive Roger Ailes[8] to replace analyst Roy Blumberg at CNBC, and began reporting live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, as well as hosting and contributing to the Market Watch and Squawk Box segments.[11][18] Bartiromo became the first journalist to deliver live television reports from the raucous floor of New York Stock Exchange.[11] The Guardian newspaper described the scene as, "viewers could watch Bartiromo amid the tumult on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, straining her voice to be heard as she delivered reports to camera ..., her 5ft 5in frame [1.65m] often jostled by burly traders."[24] She has said of that innovation: "I got bumped around a little, but it was very exciting — a new, instantaneous way of reporting market news. We immediately had a big following."[16]

Bartiromo was the anchor and managing editor of the CNBC business interview show On the Money with Maria Bartiromo[18] (called The Wall Street Journal Report during much of this time). Beginning in 2007, she hosted The Business of Innovation. She hosted several other programs, including Closing Bell (2002–2013), Market Wrap (1998–2000), and Business Center (1997–1999). She became known for ability to get CEOs of companies in the news to come on her show for an interview.[6] She became influential, with one newspaper writing that she "has uncommon access and an unusual power to move markets."[24]

"Money Honey"[edit]

Bartiromo appeared on television shows such as NBC Universal's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien, CBS Television Distribution's The Oprah Winfrey Show, HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, Warner Bros. Television's short-lived The Caroline Rhea Show, CNBC's even shorter-existing McEnroe, and Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, as well as guest-hosting on the syndicated Live with Regis and Kelly.[25]

Peter Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens, with Maria Bartiromo at the FT CNBC Davos Nightcap, 26 January 2012
SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, Congressional Oversight Panel Chair Elizabeth Warren, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair, and Maria Bartiromo of CNBC at the Women in Finance Symposium, 29 March 2010

Bartiromo's physical appearance has been likened to that of the Italian actress Sophia Loren,[21][24][20] which is a comparison that even she has acknowledged.[26] She was nicknamed the "Money Honey" in the mid-to-late 1990s, a moniker that she had conflicted feelings about lest it diminish her credibility as a financial journalist.[22][27] In January 2007, Bartiromo filed trademark applications to use the term "Money Honey" as a brand name for a line of children's products, including toys, puzzles and coloring books, to teach kids about money.[28][29] By some accounts she later let the trademarks expire.[27]

Continued prominence[edit]

Bartiromo anchored the television coverage of New York City's Columbus Day parade beginning in 1995 and was the Grand Marshal in 2010.[30]

In 2006-07 there was controversy over Bartiromo possibly being too close socially to some of the executives she was covering, which included overseas trips with some such sources.[20][21][6] In part, that was part and parcel of her role to add "pizazz and drama".[21] As The New York Times wrote, "in her years as CNBC’s most recognizable face, [she] has lent to the reporting of once gray business news a veneer of gloss and celebrity." But the Times noted that: "Typically, Ms Bartiromo’s interviewing style can be probing, aggressive and, her special access notwithstanding, she can make even some of her best sources sweat a bit on camera."[21] CNBC defended her on the matter, saying that trips in question were properly approved at that "her journalistic integrity was never compromised",[20] and Bartiromo retained the confidence of NBC upper management.[6]

Following the financial crisis of 2008, which featured the collapse of some Wall Street firms and the federal bailouts of others, Bartiromo commented in an interview: "I’m a free-market capitalist who would like to think that the market can correct itself. Unfortunately, the structures we have in place dropped the ball. The boards of directors were asleep at the wheel. So were the regulators. I believe that so-called independent boards of directors should be held accountable for their firms, too. Wall Street today faces the wrath of their shareholders and the scorn of the public. There’s got to be substantial change from within to regain public trust."[31]

Bartiromo signed a new five-year contract with CNBC in late 2008.[32] Her salary there was around $4 million a year.[6] Former colleague Dylan Ratigan has said that Bartiromo "is a generational icon for financial television. Full stop."[6]

Fox Business and Fox News[edit]

Early years and ratings[edit]

Bartiromo interviewing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on her Fox Business program in 2019

On November 18, 2013, it was announced that Bartiromo was leaving CNBC to join Fox Business (FBN).[33] According to the Drudge Report, her deal with Fox Business called for her to anchor a daily market hours program and to have a role on Fox News as well.[33] Her first show with Fox Business was Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo. But on her Fox shows she expanded the subject domains she was covering, to include not just the stock market but also larger questions of public policy and the overall economy.[26]

In the beginning of her time with the Fox Business channel, the ratings for her show were lackluster.[7]

Hosting debates and 2016 presidential election[edit]

The developments of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination race benefited her, as she developed an on-air relationship with Trump.[7]

In regard to the 2016 Republican Party presidential debates and forums, she was one of three moderators for Fox Business of the debate of November 10, 2015 at the Milwaukee Theatre and she and her colleagues were credited with keeping a focus on economics focus and for overseeing a largely civil discussion among the candidates.[34][35] She even drew some boos from the audience for suggesting that likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had much more relevant experience than the candidates on stage.[36] She then co-hosted on Fox Business another Republican debate, this time on January 14, 2016 in the North Charleston Coliseum,[37] one that was not previously planned but awarded on the basis of the first performance.[38] One assessment of the North Charleston debate was that the moderators were initially mild but got tougher as the debate went on and delved more into matters economic.[38]

During the 2016 general election, she commented on the differing ways that Wall Street would react to either candidate winning.[26] She received a good deal of attention during this period for her sartorial choices for the traditional Al Smith Dinner.[26] But as the election ran on towards its conclusion, Bartiromo took an increasingly virulent pro-s tance,[7] such as repeating trolling Internet posts in attack on Clinton.[39]

Donald Trump presidency[edit]

After Trump became president in 2017, she became an advocate for the Trump administration and frequently repeated administration talking points.[6] She frequently gave friendly, non-confrontational softball interviews to Trump and amplified Trump administration falsehoods and conspiracy theories.[8][4][3][40][41][42][43] In her Trump interviews, she expressed agreement with and did not question Trump's claims, many of which have been debunked as false or unsubstantiated.[42][40][44][43] Making reference to allegations that Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, used the U.S. intelligence community to spy on the Trump administration, Bartiromo said that 2016 requests by Obama administration officials to unmask the identity of an American who was the subject of a counterintelligence operation (which turned out to be Trump associate Michael Flynn) was "the biggest political scandal we’ve ever seen."[45] Attorney general Bill Barr named federal prosecutor John Bash to lead an investigation, which concluded months later with no findings of substantive wrongdoing and no public report.[46]

In late November 2020, after Trump lost his bid for reelection, Bartiromo conducted the first post-election interview with Trump. In the interview, Bartimoro backed Trump's false claims of election fraud and his attempt to overturn the election results, claiming that Trump was being overthrown in a "coup".[5][8] Bartiromo was criticized for her conduct in the 45-minute interview,[5][47][8] in which Bartiromo never asked Trump to substantiate his claims of fraud.[8][5] Brian Stelter of CNN recalled the "Maria Bartiromo [who was] once a feared and acclaimed journalist, best known for working the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, forcing CEOs to tell the truth."[48] Trump praised Bartiromo as being "brave" for her approach to discussing the disputes.[8] Bartiromo then defended herself by claiming that much of the media, such as CNN and The New York Times, was taking a side and was engaging in "election interference".[49]

Bartiromo was an outspoken proponent on her program of baseless allegations that voting machines stole the election from Donald Trump. Hosts Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro also promoted falsehoods on their programs. Attorneys for Smartmatic, a voting machine company that had been baselessly accused of conspiring with competitor Dominion Voting Systems to rig the election, sent Fox News a letter in December 2020 threatening legal action and demanding retractions that "must be published on multiple occasions" so as to "match the attention and audience targeted with the original defamatory publications." The three programs each ran the same three-minute video segment refuting the baseless allegations days later, though none of the three hosts personally issued retractions.[50][51]

In January 2021, after the storming of the U.S. Capitol that was carried out by a mob of supporters of Trump in an attempt to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, Bartiromo hosted Trump advisor Peter Navarro on her show, where he falsely claimed in the interview that Trump had won the election. Bartiromo concurred, falsely claiming, "We know that there were irregularities in this election."[52][53] In a broadcast on January 19, she falsely claimed that Democrats wore MAGA clothing and were behind the storming of the Capitol.[54][55]

Later ratings and afterward[edit]

Five years after joining the fledgling network, both her shows and the channel itself was surpassing CNBC in audience size some of the time.[56] In September 2019, she signed a new multi-year deal with FBN.[57] That year, TheStreet.com reported that Bartiromo had an annual salary of $10 million, seventh highest among American television news anchors of any kind.[58]

During the latter part of January 2021, once the Biden administration had been instantiated, Fox News gave Bartiromo a trial run to head one of Fox News' primetime slots, the new weekday 7pm Fox News Primetime political opinions show.[3][59] Her guest hosting stint began the week of January 25, 2021.[60]

In February 2021, Smartmatic sued Fox Corporation, Fox News, Bartiromo, Dobbs, and Pirro, for defamation, seeking $2.7 billion in damages.[61] In response her lawyers moved to have the case against her dismissed, saying that she was just reporting on presidential claims during an historically controversial election and that Smartmatic was really trying to make up for poor business performance: "This complaint is not just meritless; it is a legal shakedown designed to chill speech and punish reporting on issues that cut to the heart of our democracy".[62] Dobbs (by then off the air at FBN) and Pirro filed separate but similar motions for dismissal.[63]

Books and other publications[edit]

Bartiromo in 2012 with Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo

Bartiromo is the author of several books. Her first was Use the News: How to Separate the Noise from the Investment Nuggets and Make Money in Any Economy (HarperCollins, 2001). It appeared on The New York Times Best Seller List,[citation needed] and additively on similar lists in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.[citation needed]

Her next two books were The 10 Laws of Enduring Success (Crown Business, 2010) and The Weekend That Changed Wall Street (Portfolio Hardcover, 2011).[64] A fourth book, of which she held the status of co-author along with James Freeman, was titled The Cost: Trump, China, and American Renewal (Simon & Schuster, 2020).[65]

Bartiromo has written a monthly column for USA Today called "One-On-One".[25][66] She has also written weekly or monthly columns for publications including Business Week, Milano Finanza, Individual Investor, Ticker, and Reader’s Digest.[67]

Awards, honors and memberships[edit]

Bartiromo at the Women in Finance Symposium 2010

Bartiromo is the recipient of an Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Award (1997); a Lincoln Statue Award presented by the Union League of Philadelphia (2004); a Gracie Award, for Outstanding Documentary (2008);[68] and two Emmy Awards, an Emmy Award for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story (2008)[69] and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting (2009).[70]

In 2009, the Financial Times listed Bartiromo as one of “50 Faces That Shaped the Decade".[71] In 2011, she was the third journalist to be inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame.[18][72]

In 2016, she was inducted into the Library of American Broadcasting.[71] In 2019 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Italian American Foundation.[71] In 2020 she received the Thomas L. Philips Career Achievement Award from the Fund for American Studies.[73] That November, she received the Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award from the Independent Women's Forum.[74] On April 6, 2020, she was named a Business News Visionary by her fellow business and financial journalists.[75]

The Maria Bartiromo Broadcast Journalism Studio at Fontbonne Hall Academy, the high school she attended, is named after her.[15] She was the keynote speaker for Fontbonne's 80th anniversary gala in 2018.[15]

Bartiromo is on board of trustees of New York University, her alma mater.[6] She gave the commencement speech at the NYU Stern School of Business in 2012.[6] She has also taught there, acting as an adjunct professor at the Stern School from 2010 to 2013.[67] The seminar that she co-taught in fall 2010, titled "Global Markets and Normative Frameworks", filled its registration in 10 minutes.[76]

She has also been on the board of trustees for the New York City Ballet.[21] She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Economic Club of New York.[77] She has been on the board also for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York and also on that of Public Education Needs Civic Involvement and Leadership (PENCIL) in New York and overseas the Board of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.[77] She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, and in 2010 was the Grand Marshall of the Columbus Day Parade.[78][77]

Personal life[edit]

In 1999, Bartiromo married Jonathan Steinberg,[79] chief executive officer of WisdomTree Investments and son of billionaire financier Saul Steinberg.[8][12][80] She had first met him in 1990, soon after she graduated college.[21] The ceremony was held at the home of the bridegroom and was officiated over by a rabbi.[79]

The couple own a beach house in the hamlet of Westhampton, New York.[11] They have also lived in a five story townhouse on Manhattan's Upper East Side.[16]

In popular culture[edit]

Maria Bartiromo appeared as herself in the films Risk/Reward, the documentary about the lives of women on Wall Street (2003); the 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, an action film about armed men who hijack a New York City subway train; the sequel drama film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010); the documentary Inside Job (2010); and the finance thriller, Arbitrage (2012).

Joey Ramone, of the punk rock pioneers The Ramones, developed a friendship with Bartiromo after his band broke up in the late 1990s.[31] He subsequently wrote a song titled "Maria Bartiromo" that appeared on his solo album Don't Worry About Me, released posthumously in 2002.[24]

References[edit]

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