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Maria Bartiromo Compares CNBC to Fox Biz, Discusses Moderating GOP Debates

'Roger Ailes offered me something that I couldn't pass up'

Maria Bartiromo wakes up every day at 3:30 a.m. for work. Photo: Laura Barisonzi


Specs
Current gig Fox Business Network anchor and global markets editor; host of Mornings With Maria
Previous gig CNBC anchor
Twitter @MariaBartiromo
Age 48

You moved to Fox two years ago from CNBC. How was that shift from a cultural perspective?
Well, it is a different culture. The move, for me, was really terrific. I had been at CNBC for 20 years and I think that the culture had become a little short term. I wanted to get away from being too stock-market centric. Fox and [Fox News chief] Roger Ailes offered me something that I couldn't pass up, which was to help him build the Fox Business Network and also have a Sunday program on Fox News Channel, which is now the highest-rated Sunday show on cable. I love it. The culture is different here. There is a culture here, and it comes from the top; you know who is in charge. You know Roger is the boss and you know that he supports his people. The culture is like, "We're winning and we're going to keep our heads down and continue winning."

Your show recently moved from 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. How did this change your lifestyle?
It definitely changed my lifestyle. You know, I have to be in bed at 8:30. I get up every day at 3:30 in the morning. We're live at 6 a.m. so I have to be here at 5-5:15, and so, I definitely go out less. I have to admit that. It did cut into my social life. But I don't mind. I love being on first thing in the morning. I take naps now. I can go to dinner but I have to be home real early.

You recently co-moderated your second GOP debate of this campaign season. What is your takeaway?
I was really pleased. I feel like we were able to get into a deep discussion about a number of issues that are important to the American people. For example, I really enjoyed the conversation on tax reform. We were truly able to understand how Ted Cruz's tax plan differs from Carson's, Rubio's and what Trump has on the table. The fact that it was fewer people on stage let us come up with issues that are really important to people and really drill down. I was really happy with it.

Did a particular candidate impress you or change the way you felt about them?
A lot of people have remarked on my question about immigration to Senator Rubio. People feel that he has not been asked that question at all during this entire election season, and that's one issue about Rubio that some pockets of the Republican base are upset with him about. I definitely think he handled that question well. I also felt like Trump really was very smart with the New York values comment by Senator Cruz. It gave Trump an opportunity to truly look really good. He handled that question so beautifully by coming back to New York, 9/11 and how we were so resilient.

As a New Yorker, did Cruz's comments offend you? 
No. He did not offend me. 

When was the last time you listened to the Joey Ramone song titled "Maria Bartiromo"?
I just heard it recently. I love that song and I recently actually bought, at auction—he wrote rough lyrics on a piece of paper before he decided on the lyrics. I saw it and said, "You know what, I have to buy it." It's on my wall. I look at it and I play the song a lot. Most people don't know that Joey Ramone was an incredibly avid investor. He knew what he was doing and he loved investing and trading. He used to call and email me about stocks. May he rest in peace. I love that man.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 25 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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