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Maria Bartiromo, the Money Honey, on the Sound Bite Culture

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Read the full post here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/changing-world-money-honey-daniel-roth

Earlier this week, Verizon removed the Weather Channel from its FIOS TV lineup, saying that the channel was no longer necessary now that “customers are increasingly accessing weather information not only from their TV but from a variety of online sources and apps.” Who needs weather programming when it’s on-demand on your phone anywhere? And with that, the channel was gone — a “decision, not a dispute,” as a spokesperson called it.

Maria Bartiromo saw a similar dynamic playing out when she was at CNBC, where for 20 years she face of business news, grilling executives about earnings misses as a ticker scrolled beneath her. She had been at the cutting edge in how the markets were covered: the first reporter to broadcast from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, the first to report what the banks were saying in their morning calls. But by 2013, she realized that a major shift had occurred — and wasn’t sure why no one was admitting it.



The issue: the markets had turned mobile and ever-present, with everyone checking on stocks from wherever they were, not from the scrolling ticker. She wasn’t riding this trend, she was being asked to ignore it. Her managers, she says, wanted her to put more people on screen and for less time — focus on sound bites, give the audience even more of what they used to love, but faster.

“I felt that we were programming to the trading desk, programming to the knee-jerk reaction,” she says. “That worked. It worked really well in the '90s, because that's what was the environment… Today, there's a lot of information out there. And you really do not need more talking heads saying the same thing.”

Bartiromo decamped to Fox, where she became the global markets editor and a constant presence. She hosts the morning show every weekday on Fox Business News and a Sunday morning show on Fox News. The days start early and the only day off is Saturday. So while the shows are slower paced with more interviews — “more perspective, and more analysis,” she says — her pace hasn’t done anything but increase. (So far, the style has been enough to keep the show in the top 120 of cable news shows, but not enough to top her old network.)

After one morning’s show, she dropped by LinkedIn to talk about the changes all around her. Changes to her career and to the business world since she started covering it.

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