5 Questions for… Maria Bartiromo

By Brian Flood 

After two decades at CNBC, Maria Bartiromo is celebrating her one-year anniversary at Fox News. She continues to host “Opening Bell” on Fox Business Network and “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News Channel, making her part of a small group of TV news anchors hosting shows on two networks. We caught up with Bartiromo to discuss her anniversary, working with Lou Dobbs back in the 90s and even her father’s old restaurant.

TVNewser: So, it’s been a year since you joined Fox after working at CNBC for 20 years. What pre-conceived notions of your former competitor came true, and which didn’t?

Bartiromo: I did not realize how great this team is. I feel like I have the best team in business news. This is a group of people who come in every day wanting to kill it, on every level. I love them. The editorial team and the technical team as well – meaning writers, bookers, producers, directors, floor directors, camera men and women. So I feel so fortunate to be working with all of them. I like Fox a lot. It’s a great culture -it’s a real team culture, not cut throat. People are competitive of course but they want to win as a team. That comes from the top – Roger Ailes and Bill Shine and their leadership teams foster this culture and it works.  It’s very hard to know any of this in advance while being at a different place for 20 years. Also, I guess I didn’t realize I would be working harder than I have ever worked before but I guess that has become my MO at this point. But being on the air six days a week definitely requires constant prep. But  I love it. So its ok. I must admit – I am very happy with my decision and am feeling very good one year later.


TVNewser: Who haven’t you interviewed, that you’d like to?

Bartiromo: Janet Yellen [The Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System].

TVNewser: Looking forward to the 2016 presidential election, if someone has money invested in the stock market, who should be their candidate?

Bartiromo: I would go for the person that makes the best case for economic growth – that is what we need. That can come through small government, low taxes, effective but low regulatory environment, and the one who can articulate to the American people why creating a favorable environment for business will lead to more jobs created. I would also bet on the person who is able to articulate leadership when it comes to foreign policy. This will be critical for 2016. I think foreign policy will be the most important issue for voters this time. I think we are all just beginning to hear who can do this, so I can’t name that person yet.

TVNewser: What’s the one takeaway from being Lou Dobbs‘s producer at CNN in the early 1990s?

Bartiromo: Hard work pays off. I always used to tell people – I learned this business ‘back in the day’ in the Lou Dobbs school of business – and that meant being dedicated to excellence. Back then, you did not mess with Lou – God forbid, not knowing your stuff. You never wanted him to ask you a question that you didn’t know the answer to.  It was ‘study, study, study’ all the time so we were ready. I worked at CNN Business News as an entry level production assistant, then writer, then producer, then field producer in 1989. I stayed there for four years and it was during the first Gulf War and we were covering the economic implications of the war as it was happening in real time. This was the first time anyone had done that. CNN was breaking new ground. It prepared me so well to cover the moving global economy and global markets in real time so many years later in my career. Lou taught me to “own my job” do it better than anyone, know it cold.  I am so grateful for this training from Lou and I should mention Stuart Varney, who by the way, I love working with them both here at Fox. It’s a small world.

TVNewser: Describe the best meal you ever had at your dad’s old Brooklyn restaurant The Rex Manor?

Bartiromo: The Rex was so great. My dad was the hero on my block in Brooklyn because he would come home sometimes with pizza pies for all of my friends on the block.  The boys on the block nicknamed me bullet because I was the fastest runner. As a kid, when we were playing hide and seek all the boys would run to my dad’s car when they saw him pull up, hoping he brought home pizza for the block. Ha ha ha.  My favorite meal there, which I used to call my dad to bring home all the time, was what we used to call a VCP: Veal Cutlet Parmigiana. I would say, “Dad please bring me home a VCP.” It was delicious. Great memories, thanks for asking.

Last year Bartiromo was featured in our video series, “What’s Your Show?”