Tag Archives: Maria Bartiromo
Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman profiles CNBC anchor Liz Claman on Wednesday and comes away impressed with her low-key personality and demeanor, which he says is in stark contrast to Maria Bartiromo.
Friedman wrote, “By contrast, the unpretentious Claman, who joined CNBC in 1998 and now anchors ‘Morning Call,’ almost seems out of place in TV news. After all, this is a business which cranks out divas with the precision of a Detroit assembly line rolling out new cars.
“‘You can’t start believing your own press clippings,’ Claman told me. ‘Your vision gets clouded.’
“Claman’s breezy style made a difference last year when she traveled to Omaha to interview billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
She had the challenge of coaxing Buffett, who has been known to sound stiff and formal in TV interviews, to talk about himself in a revealing way.
“Claman declared, ‘OK, Warren, I’m here! We can get this party started!’ “That sort of bluster paved the way for a well received interview. The show represented a coup for CNBC since Buffett is a hero to so many of its viewers.”
Read more here.
The FishbowlNY web site has been running a poll this week to determine whether CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo is still the “Money Honey” of the network.
Well, those with enough time on their hands to go to the FishbowlNY web site and vote have spoken, and there’s a new “Money Honey.” It’s Becky Quick, the co-host of CNBC’s Squawk Box show in the morning. She beat out Bartiromo and three other CNBC anchors, Erin Burnett, Liz Claman and Sue Herera. Burnett came in second, but Quick had more than 50 percent of the votes.
FishbowlNY noted, “Some fun facts about Ms. Quick â€” she’s 34, a Wall Street Journal vet and Rutgers University grad (class of ’93, Poli-Sci major). Quick was even editor-in-chief of the Daily Targum, Rutgers’ student newspaper. She joined CNBC in 2001. She even has a fan site maintained by ‘fans of Becky Quick, and most of us have never even met her.’
But Quick wasn’t the only “money honey” candidate to garner praise. Some anonymous commentary:
Sue Herrera: Dark smoldering eyes of a woman who knows how to watch her money!Michelle Caruso Cabrera is cuter than all of them. Plus she has a brain and speaks foreign languages and does REAL reporting, Like she’s been to Cuba and Iraq and such places. Head and shoulders above the other tube heads.
Liz Claman: If you only knew what she looked like before she got married and had children … OMG.
Read more here.
Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco has his own take on the controversry surrounding CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo, and it includes him now adhering to a new set of ethical standards.
Dumenco wrote, “Effective immediately, I’ve decided to adhere to higher-than-ever ethical standards. To wit:
My travel policy
“Henceforth, I will only accept rides on corporate jets from corporations that I cover if, when the stewardess is serving me a can of Coke, I get to keep the whole can. (None of this lots-of-ice-in-a-cup and half-a-can-of-Coke stuff for me. I want the entire can. Those cute little half-cans of Coke are OK, but I want two of them.)
My merchandising policy
“Not to dwell on Maria, but just before Money Honeygate blew up, she reportedly filed to trademark her ‘Money Honey’ nickname, registering it for use on stuff like school supplies, piggy banks, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, cookie jars, dolls and backpacks, among other items.
“Personally, I’d buy a David Carr dolly, a Michael Wolff corkscrew and a Nick Denton tea cozy before I ever bought a Money Honey mouse pad — but whatever. The important thing, as I contemplate merchandising myself (either via the Media Guy name or through another nickname, such as the Hissy Sissy), is that I set clear boundaries regarding what’s appropriately dignified for a columnist of my lofty stature.”
Read more here. As the T-shirt my 10-year-old wears states, “Sarcasm: It’s one of the many services I offer.”
Howard Kurtz, the media reporter for the Washington Post and host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” had a panel of journalists discuss the ethics of CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo accepting a plane ride on the Citigroup corporate jet on Sunday.
Here are some of the comments:
EMILY ROONEY, HOST, “BEAT THE PRESS,” WGBH: I don’t know. That one makes me very uncomfortable.
For one thing, why were the other executives booted off the flight if it was a group meeting and she was there to develop some programming? Why — why was it — we’re assuming now that they were alone. That’s sort of the way the story has come out. So I’d say I feel uncomfortable about it.
DAVID CARR, MEDIA COLUMNIST, “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: Well, when we see CNBC has reimbursed Citigroup for the costs, they paid for half of what it cost to fly a chartered jet back? I don’t think so. They paid a commercial fare and left it at that, and that seems to be a significant gratuity.
FRANK AHRENS, MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT WRITER, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Right, that’s exactly the case. The price of a commercial ticket is much, much lower than that of a private jet.
Listen, I mean, part of Maria’s job is to promote CNBC for the network. The question is, within what boundaries?
MORE ROONEY: You know, it’s so interesting. I was thinking about this, this week, also, because nobody used to cover business. That was — it was only in the last couple of decades that business news has become really in the forefront. And now it’s sort of in the same genre as sports, and that is that you really have to get close to your subjects in order to cover them, and then these cozy relationships develop.
I think it’s different than any other kind of reporting, different than political reporting, different from any other — so just that sense that you have to get an intimate relationship going. And that’s what happened with her.
Read the rest of the transcript here.
Washington & Lee journalism ethics professor Ed Wasserman writes in the Miami Herald that both Maria Bartiromo and cable business news channel CNBC failed in the recent brouhaha about her taking a plane ride on the Citigroup corporate jet.
Wasserman wrote, “The problem here isn’t just that a richly paid news diva is tone deaf to flagrant conflicts that would end the careers of lesser beings, who are forbidden to accept a coffee from people they cover. Bartiromo’s squirrelly standards were already apparent in 2003, when she interviewed then-Citigroup chief Sanford Weill on the air while noting she owned 1,000 shares of his company’s stock.
“Lately she had taken steps, the New York Post says, to trademark ‘Money Honey,’ which started out as a derisive nickname. That would enable her to get royalties from T-shirts, bumper stickers, chewy toys and the like.
“The surprise isn’t Bartiromo; it’s her handlers. In 2003 CNBC, chagrined by her Weill interview, radically tightened its conflict-of-interest rules. Now the same network sees no problem.
“CNBC no longer perceives a difference between journalist and show pony. Bartiromo’s jet-setting isn’t, as the network claims, source development. She isn’t doing legwork on stories. She’s a corporate emissary and brand-enhancement, helping favored companies — many of them CNBC advertisers — to put on successful events. She partners with the world she’s supposed to cover.
“So what happens when her duties as a journalist — duties to inform us, her public — obligate her to report news that would displease her network-approved consorts on the intercontinental banquet circuit? Do we get the news, or do they get the Money Honey?”
Read more here.
TheDeal.com executive editor Yvette Kantrow wants to know why the media has gotten so up in arms about CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo taking a trip on the Citigroup jet when there appear to be bigger ethical issues surrounding business journalism.
Kantrow wrote, “Show us a big-deal TV journalist who hasn’t sat on or moderated a panel either organized by, sponsored by, or sitting alongside people they cover or people who advertise and we’ll show you a useful stock pick gleaned from watching CNBC. Ink-stained wretches aren’t immune from this either. Fortune magazine, for example, puts on several conferences each year (The Leadership Forum, The Global Forum, etc., etc.), where many of its editors and reporters share the podium with both sources and advertisers. (The Deal, like many media companies, is also in the conference business.) But nobody ever claims these activities compromise the journalists’ integrity or turn journalists into marketing tools.
“Ironically, much of the Bartiromo brouhaha has taken place as evidence of the ‘cozy’ relationships many journalists have with their sources couldn’t be on clearer display. More than 200 journalists, Bartiromo included, have just returned from Davos, Switzerland, where they spent a week trying desperately to do the very thing for which Bartiromo is being tarred and feathered â€” cavorting with the high-powered people they cover. The New York Times, for example, had at least eight people in Davos blogging for its Dealbook Web site, as well as a slew of columnists, including Floyd Norris, Nicholas Kristof, David Brooks and panel-moderator Tom Friedman, rubbing elbows with the world’s elite.
“We’re pretty sure the Times contingent, like other journalists there, flew to Davos at their employers’ expense. But what about all those lavish parties that are the lifeblood of Davos? Will media outlets be reimbursing McKinsey & Co., or PricewaterhouseCoopers or Google Inc. or the other Davos corporate party-throwers for the canapes and champagne their journalists downed as they searched for celebrities? OK, munching on a cocktail shrimp is not the same thing as hitching a ride on a corporate jet, but for many of the reporters roaming around Davos, it’s about as glamorous as their lives will get. Should they be doing it on some corporation’s dime?”
Read more here.
Forbes.com columnist Dennis Kneale noted Friday that the coverage of the Maria Bartiromo/Citigroup jet controversy has taken business journalists away from what they should be writing about — the problems at the New York-based bank.
Kneale wrote, “And we are told, as the Journal intoned, with an upraised eyebrow, that Maria Bartiromo and Todd Thomson were ‘spotted’ at the plush eatery Daniel in New York in late 2005, dining alone. ‘Word of the sighting spread through Citigroup the next day.’ Sure it did–the foreign currency traders must have gone wild. Let’s get this right: A journalist working her sources goes out to dinner with a source who runs a big business for a huge company she covers. Isn’t that what journos do all the time?
“Something odious and sexist and archaic drives these artfully veiled accounts. Bartiromo, who plays it straight and is fiercely committed to her job, would not have been made a target if she weighed 200 pounds and looked like Winston Churchill. And Thomson wouldn’t have gotten pilloried in the press if there weren’t enemies inside or close to Citi feeding off-the-record invective to the writers.
“Let us get back to business: Citi has 1,000 banking branches in the U.S., while Bank of America has six times as many; it has failed to reap billions in private equity bets the way Goldman Sachs routinely does; and it runs third in credit cards. If the numbers suck when the company reports earnings in coming weeks and quarters, we’ll know the real reason for this brouhaha: Mariagate was a way to distract attention from the real screw-ups at Citigroup itself.”
Read more here.
Former Wall Street whistleblower Pam Martens has an interesting look at the Maria Bartiromo/Citigroup scandal that actually focuses on her employer’s long-standing relationship with the bank.
On the Counterpunch web site, Martens provides a number of examples where CNBC and the bank have co-sponsored events.
Martens wrote, “While this international co-branding effort was overt, something more covert was happening here at home. Here’s a quick check of the CNBC news content for the period December 29, 2006 to January 5, 2007. The following Citigroup personnel appeared on the news network to advance Citigroup’s position on everything from stocks to global warming: Tobias Levkovich (Citigroup’s top 10 stock picks); Kimberly Greenberger (Citigroup’s analyst for retail store data); Lan Xue (Citigroup is bullish on Chinese stocks); Steven Saywell (Citigroup doesn’t think you should sell the U.S. dollar); Hans Goetti (loss of investor confidence roils Thailand); Charles Boorady (how Citigroup thinks healthcare reform will affect HMO stocks). Week after week, the proliferation of Citigroup guests would suggest that Citigroup is not just one of CNBC’s largest advertisers but a content provider as well.
“The co-branding effort is so engrained between CNBC and Citigroup that the Wall Street Journal reported that Charles McLean was the spokesperson for both CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Todd Thomson, the Citigroup exec ostensibly ousted for getting too cozy with a reporter. What the Journal did not reveal is that Mr. McLean works for The Dilenschneider Group, the public relations firm that specializes in crisis management.
“Mainstream media has been buzzing about CNBC’s failure to report on what has become a major news story. Other reporters have questioned why CNBC has so fiercely defended Maria Bartiromo’s conduct with Citigroup. The answer is that neither CNBC nor Citigroup want the first class cabin’s curtain pulled back on their co-branding scheme, the reason Ms. Bartiromo was on the Citigroup corporate jet.”
Read more here.
David Weidner, who covers Wall Street for Marketwatch, has what I consider to be the most insightful commentary about the recent controversy surrounding CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo‘s trip on a Citigroup corporate jet.
Weidner wrote, “What if I told you that the other day I spent eight hours on a plane with a high-ranking female executive of one of the world’s biggest financial-services firms?
“Would you think, ‘Well, that’s great. Here’s a journalist working hard to understand, translate and provide his readers with information about that company?’ Or, ‘how can we trust someone who would accept a plush plane ride?’ Or, would you think ‘hubba hubba?’
“Now, what if that executive was male?”
Later, Weidner added, “We’ve also found that there is a very fine line between being a reporter whose job it is to reveal information to an audience and someone who is blinded by their own star, greed or the lure of becoming a player, like the people we cover.
“And the runaway popularity of this story also tells us something about ourselves. We seem to be less interested in whether or not Citigroup is well run, or its stock price.”
Read more here.
The public relations disaster for CNBC that has resulted from the disclosure that anchor Maria Bartiromo took a trip on the Citigroup jet that led to the ouster of one of its executives is the network’s fault, writes Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman.
Friedman wrote, “Bartiromo’s image as a hard-working, responsible journalist was shattered. And CNBC’s self-styled reputation as ‘the worldwide leader in business news’ took a Lusitania-like hit.
“CNBC hoped that the story would gradually fade away, but as USA Today’s Web site pointed out Tuesday: ‘The Maria Bartiromo story shows no signs of dying, and it may instead be spinning into that rare business-page yarn worthy of the watercooler.’
“Note the language. USA Today called it ‘The Maria Bartiromo story,’ not the Todd Thomson (who?) story.
“Over the past week, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, the Financial Times and Reuters were among the news outlets that weighed in with various angles. (I reckon that we can practically count the days till smart-alecky New York magazine flashes a “Mariagate” headline across its cover.)
“Let’s get this straight: CNBC is anything but a victim. The network originally let Bartiromo manipulate the standard rules of good journalism by looking the other way when she developed a cozy relationship with a powerful source.”