Celebrating Hamptons Celebrities: Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo
Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo now lives a short distance from where she was married in 1999 to her long-time beau, financier Jonathan Steinberg, in the Village of Quogue. Bartiromo, who hosts her daily morning show on Fox Business News and two Fox weekly shows (Sunday Morning Futures and Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street), starts her day at 3:30 a.m., usually falling asleep by 8:30 p.m. If she attends an evening social event or travels, it requires some special planning.

Her Hamptons break is bike-riding or a four-mile beach walk. Bartiromo occasionally enjoys a good margarita with a quality tequila.

A graduate of NYU with a major in journalism, her first two years of college were at C.W. Post/LIU. She recalls how members of Post’s economics faculty were a major influence on her career, encouraging her to pursue economics, finance and business.

Starting out as an intern production assistant at CNN Business in 1989, Bartiromo has had a front row seat participating in the evolution of cable television business news. “When I got there, I learned how to cover a story as it was actually happening. CNN was wall-to-wall coverage breaking all of the rules … not waiting to report at 6:30 p.m. This experience served me very well when I became the first reporter (for CNBC) to broadcast from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1993. I was able to cover the stock market as it was moving. I’m proud to be a major participant in cable news. It has taken market share from the ‘major broadcasts.’”

Jonathan Steinberg and Maria Bartiromo
Jonathan Steinberg and Maria Bartiromo

After 10 years as a reporter/anchor at CNBC. Bartiromo signed on with Fox Business News in 2013. “One of the reasons I left CNBC for Fox Network (now celebrating its 25th year) was how the winds were changing … viewers didn’t want knee-jerk reactions constantly focused on what the stock market would do. CEOs would tell me, ‘We don’t want short-term thinking, we want long-term thinking.’ CNBC wanted to stay focused on the trading desk, more numbers, more data. Fox Business tries to help individuals and families long-term, with financial information on all of their lives — whether it is buying a home, mortgages, cars, anything economic affecting a broad mass of people.”

After interviewing many leading CEOs and U.S. presidents, Bartiromo remains surprised how rock star Prince (at the height of his career) showed up at the CNBC studios in New Jersey and sat with her for a guest appearance.

What characteristics irk Bartiromo when she’s interviewing a guest? “When a CEO tries to avoid answering a question. My audience is very smart, and they know when my guest is trying to evade a question, just sticking to their talking points. I am determined. If you do not answer a question, I will ask it again and again.”

The many publications she regularly reviews like The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, Fortune — and Dan’s Papers — are all read online, no hard copies. The current book she’s reading is The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Pillsbury.

Bartiromo worked in her family’s business, the popular Rex Manor in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, while growing up. “When I was the coat check girl, I learned how to deal with people, care for their belongings, be pleasant at all times … I am grateful because it taught me so much to be in a service business. I would recommend it to any young person as part of their education. I still think about how I watched my father with his head bandana, cooking over a hot stove all day at our restaurant under pressure to prepare dinners. My parents instilled in me their work ethic: If you want to have your own money, you have to work for it. Young people learning the value of a dollar does not happen at school, it starts at home.”