5. Maria's Next Move
It was some indefinable quality which led her to become the first reporter to broadcast live from the NYSE. Certainly the accomplishment resulted from more than her comeliness; otherwise any mic-wielding beauty could have made the breakthrough. Likewise, there was something intangible, dare we say magical, about her singular ability to anchor both CNBCs The Closing Bell as well as On the Money, while still saving time to commentate on the Columbus Day parade.
Yep, Maria Bartiromo always had that je ne sais quoi that has enabled her to break gender, business, and journalistic barriers. Like Columbus himself, she has that indescribable ability to not only see new worlds, but breach them.
And now that she's moving from CNBC to a new home at Fox in 2014, she'll be able to use the X-factor that has served her career so well as the newest judge on, what else, The X Factor.That's right. Shove over Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio or whichever vapid young vixen may currently be situated next to producer Simon Cowell in the judges pew. That seat will soon belong to the Money Honey. Seriously, we know why she left CNBC to join Roger Ailes squad and it wasn't a mad dash for more money. Nor was it a desire to piss off Liz Clayman. She could easily achieve both those objectives without abandoning her dressing room in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. We know first, or maybe second-hand (perhaps third), Maria is making the move because the brass at NBC passed her over for one of the female judging spots next to Howard Stern and Howie Mandel on America's Got Talent. Nothing more, nothing less. Our source has it on (somewhat) decent authority that Marias initial demand during her contract negotiation was to play the character of Maria in the networks recent live broadcast of The Sound of Music. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be at the Peacock network decided that having the same name as the lead character was not reason enough to give its star financial reporter the role made famous by Julie Andrews. A stellar singing voice, in fact, was required. NBC brass opted instead to give the part to former American Idol (a Fox ratings staple) champion Carrie Underwood, a decision that thoroughly peeved Bartiromo, who was seeking to showcase her talents on a show sans scrolling stock tickers. (In retrospect, letting the former Brooklynite Bartiromo loose in the Austrian Alps might have been the better idea considering the shows awfulness. But thats pure hindsight. Were looking forward here.) Think were kidding? Take a look at Bartiromos interview with the Wall Street Journal from this summer. "I do watch the movie on my mini-iPad whenever I fly, which is often. I love all the songs in the movie, but the opener makes me feel safe. Hearing Andrews sing it makes me feel I can keep moving forward no matter what, and it encourages me to keep pushing and trying. It's a personal thing," said Bartiromo, who clearly didn't push hard enough in this case. And after the network to which Maria had called home for 20 years chose Heidi Klum and former Spice Girl Mel B to shine in its top-rated variety show, Maria B knew she had to move on. If she wanted to showcase the impalpable ability that makes her so inexpressibly amazing, she had to change the channel. Cue Ailes, who was right there to satisfy his former proteges desires with a plum spot on Cowells song and dance show in addition to her on-air duties at Fox Business. Trust us. If you want to know where Maria is going in 2014, we guarantee you that X marks the spot.