Is Maria Bartiromo-Erin Burnett Supposed Rivalry “A Male-Fantasy Thing”?

By Chris Ariens Comment


So just who’s fueling those rumors of a rivalry between CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and Erin Burnett? Vanity Fair‘s Suzanna Andrews asked Bartiromo that very question in a November profile for the magazine.

“Erin and I have spoken about this,” Bartiromo says, “and I just think that we both feel like, well, maybe at the end of the day someone is doing this, planting this, because it puts more attention on the network.” Asked if she means executives at CNBC, she smiles and says nothing.

Burnett_9.29.jpgAndrews writes that both Bartiromo and Burnett “think the idea of a rivalry between them is particularly absurd, considering the on-air bitchfest among their male colleagues.”

And then there was the recent NYSE encounter Bartiromo had with a Fox Business Network floor reporter. FBN’s “army of on-air female correspondents” have nicknames that make Bartiromo’s “Money Honey” seem quaint.

“…a Fox correspondent rushes up to her. She is wearing towering heels, tons of makeup, and a scarlet dress so tight you can see her underwear line and unbuttoned to expose her black lace bra. “Hi, Maria!” she shrieks. Maria’s eyes pop open, but then she smiles and kisses her. It’s only later that she says she was “taken aback.” The Fox reporter is a friend, and insisting that her name not be published, she says, “I did tell her, ‘Don’t ever show up here with your skirt up your butt and your shirt down low like that.’ I said, ‘It’s a distraction, it’s ridiculous, and it’s not what you want.’ I don’t know who’s telling her to do this, [but] there are a lot of women doing that.”

And note to network execs: Bartiromo has an idea for a show. And with her rumored $1 million contract up next year, there’s a good chance she’ll get it. [Afterall, in the VF piece, CNBC SVP Jonathan Wald says, “She has always pushed and pushed. She’s gone after everything she’s wanted and gotten it.”] Andrews writes Bartiromo’s “dream is to host a show with a format closer to that of Charlie Rose…”

Stay tuned.

Photographs by Martin Schoeller; styled by Andreas Kokkino for Vanity Fair.