Tag Archives: Maria Bartiromo
The TVNewser web site noted that CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo’s interview thisÂ afternoon with former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill could raise questions again with viewers about her ethics.
Bartiromo, if you remember, was criticized earlier this year for her relationship with ousted Citigroup executive Todd Thomson, which included taking a plane ride on the Citigroup corporate jet back from China. Bartiromo also raised eyebrows earlier in her career during a Weill interview when she disclosed that she owned stock on the company.
TVNewser wrote, “A longtime CNBC viewer wrote to TVNewser: ‘Have they lost all ethical thought and reason in Englewood Cliffs? I sat there with a stunned look on my face the whole time the interview was going on.’
“‘Why shouldn’t she do the interview? She did nothing wrong,’ a CNBC insider responded…
> “Update: 9:35pm: ‘Just the hint of scandal makes the interview stupid from a P.R. point of view. Why risk credibility with viewers by giving the interview to Bartiromo?,’ an e-mailer adds.”
Read more here.
Also, the Inside Cable News blog muses: “Some people are going to point to the recent Citigroup scandal involving Bartiromo and wonder why on earth sheâ€™s anywhere near this interview. Others will point out that the interview wasnâ€™t with anyone who currently works at CNBC as Weill is no longer Chairman and CEO and therefore thereâ€™s nothing wrong with it.”
TheDeal.com executive editor Yvette Kantrow wrote that recent coverage of the ouster of Citigroup executive Todd Thomson has disputed many of the allegations about his extravagances, including his relationship with CNBC anchior Maria Bartiromo.
Kantrow’s conclusion is that the business media was played by Citigroup to turn the focus away from its actual issues.
She wrote, “Thomson in recent days has scored a trifecta of positive â€” and strikingly similar â€” news reports that paint him not as the overspending philanderer but as the largely innocent target of a smear campaign engineered by nefarious Charles Prince, Citi’s embattled CEO.
“The story line goes like this: Feeling threatened by Thomson and hoping to divert attention from his own lackluster performance, Prince fired Thomson, then leaked to the media details of the former exec’s profligate spending on everything from office fireplaces to flights for the Money Honey. Thus, Mariagate was born.”
Later, she concluded, “Citi’s top dogs were on to something if they did leak Mariagate to divert attention from their larger woes. As one money manager told BusinessWeek, Thomson ‘was a beautiful scapegoat’ for the company’s problems, shifting the conversation from earnings to fish tanks and sex. But for Citi, the Mariagate media bubble couldn’t last. In fact, it grew so large, so fast, that it was only a matter of time before it popped. Eventually you knew the media would attempt to out those who helped to inflate it.”
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San Antonio Express-News business columnist David Hendricks covered Maria Bartiromo’s speech Tuesday at Trinity University and came away disappointed that she didn’t want to answer any of the tough questions that she’s famous for asking.
Hendricks wrote, “Known for asking the tough questions on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, she avoided taking any herself at Trinity University’s sold-out Policy Maker Breakfast. She hasn’t answered media questions since the Citigroup ethical issue came to light.
“Perhaps that’s why Bartiromo skipped the breakfast series’ traditional post-speech news conference. When it came to taking questions from the San Antonio business community that flocks to Trinity’s popular speaker series, she selected questions written on cards instead of answering queries directly from the floor.
“Curiously, it was difficult to know from her speech Tuesday who employs Bartiromo: I don’t remember her mentioning CNBC even once. She was busy instead dropping the names of the people she has interviewed, from President Bush to Bill and Melinda Gates and the heads of high-powered private equity firms.”
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Tracy Connor of the New York Daily News writes Sunday in a profile of CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo that she has always stood out in a crowd.
Connor wrote, “She’s the ‘Money Honey,’ known as much for her Sophia Loren looks as her financial acumen, and arguably the most recognizable business journalist around. So far, the 39-year-old hasn’t let anyone see her sweat over the innuendo about her relationship with Thomson, and her defenders say the mini-scandal won’t dull her shine.
“Former New York Stock Exchange head Dick Grasso, who let Bartiromo be the first to report live from the trading floor in 1995, remembers the hassling she got in that high-testosterone environment.
“‘She had a tough road to crack and she cracked it by working hard, by learning the business,’ Grasso said. ‘And I don’t think she’s going to wither and go away because there’s some people taking shots at her.’”
Read more here.
Fortune magazine’s Barney Gimbel has some interesting observations on the Maria Bartiromo/Citigroup scandal, noting that it’s been mostly the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post that has been pushing the issue.
Murdoch, of course, is also behind the launch of the Fox Business Channel to compete with Bartiromo’s CNBC.
Gimbel also points out that Bartiromo’s name recognition has never been higher.
He wrote, “For Jeff Zucker, tapped to succeed Wright, the scandal became a distraction. The Money Honey is CNBC’s biggest star, the cable network is coming off its best year ever, and Bartiromo has long been rumored to be considering a defection to Fox. Right on cue, on Feb. 8, News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch formally announced that the long-anticipated Fox Business Channel would debut in the fall, and he took direct aim at CNBC: ‘We have to recruit some money honeys,’ chuckled Murdoch. Coincidentally (or not), his usually aggressive New York Post has mostly held fire on Mariagate.”
Read more here.
The New York Post’s Keith Kelly writes Friday that the editors of Reader’s Digest and BusinessWeek will continue to publish freelance columns from CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo despite the recent controversy surrounding her trip on a Citigroup jet.
Kelly wrote, “Bartiromo was to have been a guest of Reader’s Digest Association at the Magazine Publishers of America’s recent Henry Johnson Fisher Award luncheon. Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Leo didn’t take it as a ‘diss’ that Bartiromo was a no-show. She was in the midst of the maelstrom.
“‘She’s one of the most ethical reporters I have ever met,’ said Leo, who hails from the same Brooklyn neighborhood as the CNBC squawker. ‘She will skewer or laud, depending on where the chips fall.’
“She said Bartiromo is paid the ‘standard columnist rate’ for her 1,000-word personal finance article – which probably means it is a mid-five figure amount on an annual basis.
“‘She does podcasts when we ask her to and speaks with our editors at luncheons from time to time. . . . She is just aces.’
“Business Week Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler is a little less gushing – but is still sticking with her as one of his star columnists, which also includes Jack and Suzie Welch.
“‘We’re confident that she’s been complying with our journalistic code of ethics,’ said Adler. ‘We think it’s a useful column for our readers and we’re continuing with it.’”
Read more here.Â
Thomas Kostigen of Marketwatch says it’s time for business journalists to stop writing about the Maria Bartiromo/Citigroup controversy and to start writing about business.
Kostigen wrote, “Frustrated business news journalists — which is to say pretty much all business news journalists — are having a field day with the firing of Citigroup’s Todd Thomson, head of its global wealth management division, at the expense of CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo.
“They’re writing tabloid fare journalism that may be more fun for them (I mean, which would you rather cover: the Money Honey or Motorola?) but is tragic for us readers.
“Without Bartiromo in the picture, would the firing of a senior executive for a major public corporation have drawn on this long? Thomson was booted about a month ago. He’s still making headlines today.”
Later, he concluded, “So, Neil Cavuto: Best fly coach, and for the sake of our industry please cavort only with men. Then again, something might be made out of that too!
“Business journalists should stick to writing about business, not about celebrity; they may actually end up uncovering something important.”
Read more here.
Joakin Baage, writing on Digital Media Wire, likes what he’s heard so far about the new Fox Business Channel, but he wonders whether its strategy wll be as effective as CNBC in a recession.
Baage wrote, “So, from what I gather, I think a ‘pro-business’ channel is good positioning, but it will have obvious journalistic challenges in keeping a ‘balanced’ and distanced approach to the executives it will cover, as made obvious by the recent controversy surrounding CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo. While Fox Business News might navigate its way successfully around content issues and seem to seem to have a solid plan of what it wants to be, the main concern that remains is how launching an ‘old-media’ venture fits in with Rupert Murdochâ€™s rhetoric about News Corp. being focused on navigating its way through the new media revolution, where most of the advertising growth is right now.
“In fact, Rupert Murdoch has already predicted the fall of the networks – in their current form. As consumers increasingly are taking control of media, Murdoch has noted the need for a new breed of networks to form to cater to the way they want to consume and interact with media. It seems like Fox Business News is still very much a traditional television network.
“Perhaps News Corp is holding back its new media plans for the new business channel secret for competitive reasons, but I still expected more out-of-the-gate from the owners of MySpace. Right now, it seems like News. Corp is going to be playing this game on CNBCâ€™s analog court, rather than taking it to the next level on the much bigger digital field.”
Read more here.
A story in the New York Times on Monday reports that CNBC reporter Charles Gasparino did investigate claims that his co-worker, CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo, was one of the reasons why Citigroup fired an executive earlier this year because of theri close relationship.
Landon Thomas Jr. wrote, “On Dec. 11, after the appointment of Robert Druskin as chief operating officer of Citigroup, Ms. Bartiromo and Charles Gasparino, a CNBC on-air editor, had a brief on-air clash when Ms. Bartiromo remarked that an earlier report by Mr. Gasparino that Sallie L. Krawcheck would leave her job as chief financial officer did not pan out.
“‘That is not what I said,’ Mr. Gasparino shot back. ‘I didnâ€™t say that,’ as he argued that Ms. Krawcheck and Mr. Thomson were no longer heirs to succeed Charles O. Prince as chief executive.
“Subsequently, according to people with an understanding of how the story unfolded, Mr. Gasparino learned that, in fact, Mr. Thomsonâ€™s job was in jeopardy.
“He explained this to Jonathan Wald, head of news programming, that he had been told by people within Citigroup that top management had examined Mr. Thomsonâ€™s conduct, specifically the occasions that Ms. Bartiromo joined him on the company jet. Mr. Wald told Mr. Gasparino to pursue the story, these people say.
“When Ms. Bartiromo got wind of Mr. Gasparinoâ€™s reporting, she told Mr. Wald, complaining that her name was being dragged into the matter, these people say. Mr. Wald said that reporting the story was Mr. Gasparinoâ€™s job.”
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Tom Steinert-Threlkeld of Multichannel News writes that CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo has a bigger ethical dilemma than accepting a plane ride on the Citigroup corporate jet.
Steinert-Threlkeld wrote, “Now that she has climbed her own ladder of success, on the CNBC, Wall Street Journal and Business Week platforms, she has produced her own conundrum. The real revelation of the last month has been her decision to trademark the ‘Money Honey’ brand. In eight filings found on the Web site of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Bartiromo is listed as the owner of the ‘Money Honey’ mark for a whole host of products and services aimed at children, ranging from a TV series to electronic chat rooms to dolls and doll accessories. Stuff for the next generation of would-be financial journalists.
“This is her economic right. And she can probably manage the merchandising of the trademark; or have some outfit manage the business for her.
“But what it does is blur the definition of who she is. Is she reporting on business or conducting business? Is she separate and objective from the crowd she writes about or part of it? And is she carefully protecting herself from any insinuation that, in a case like that with Thomson, that she is using her gender instead of her skill to get scoops?
“Wish that the brand she had trademarked was more businesslike. Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey used â€¦ their own names. But ‘Money Honey’?
“Bartiromo not only doesnâ€™t discourage the use. She endorses it. She looks like she plans to trade on it.
“That could make it hard for her — and female journalists following in her footsteps — to avoid insinuation that somehow their stature as ‘honeys’ help them, on the beat, every day.
“And even if well-meant, the deliberate use and marketing of ‘Money Honey’ as a personally-owned mark offers no protection if another Citigroup ruckus comes along.”
Read more here.