CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo leaving CNBC for Fox Business -source

Reuters

By Liana B. Baker

Nov 18 (Reuters) - Business television presenter MariaBartiromo is leaving broadcaster CNBC after 20 years to take ajob at rival Fox Business Network, according to a sourcefamiliar with the matter.

CNBC President and Chief Executive Mark Hoffman announcedBartiromo's departure in a memo to employees on Monday and said she will leave the company when her contract expires on Nov. 24.

Hoffman did not say where Bartiromo was going, but a sourcefamiliar with the matter confirmed media reports that she washeaded to Fox Business Network, the cable broadcaster foundedsix years ago by Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc to take on CNBC, owned by Comcast Corp.

A Fox spokeswoman said she did not have any announcement tomake on Bartiromo on Monday.

The Fox Business Network, launched in October 2007, becomeprofitable in June but trails CNBC in the ratings.

Bartiromo, 46, is expected to also appear on sister networkFox News, the No. 1 cable news channel in the ratings, thesource said.

Bartiromo joined CNBC in 1993 and became the first journalist to report daily live from the floor of the New YorkStock Exchange. Nicknamed the "Money Honey," she was the anchoron CNBC's "Closing Bell," which aired for two hours during theweek, and a half-hour show on Sundays called "On the Money."

"She has been at the center of every major financial andbusiness news story, working hard for CNBC, since her earliestdays fighting it out on the floor of the New York Stock Exchangein the mid-90s," Hoffman said in the memo obtained by Reuters.

Hoffman added that the network will use various anchors onan interim basis before it finds permanent replacements.

In 2007, Bartiromo was in the news for her ties to a seniorCitigroup executive who spent $5 million of corporatefunds to sponsor a show on the Sundance Channel that wouldinclude Bartiromo as a host. The executive later lost his job.

In July 2004, Bartiromo was criticized for interviewingCitigroup Chairman Sanford Weill while owning 1,000 shares ofthe bank's stock, which she disclosed at the beginning of theinterview. CNBC later barred news staff and managers from owningindividual stocks or corporate bonds.

Bartiromo has won two Emmy awards and written several booksas well as columns for magazines and newspapers, including USAToday. She is married to Jonathan Steinberg, the CEO of ETFprovider WisdomTree Investments and son of former corporateraider Saul Steinberg.

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