Maria Bartiromo, host of Mornings with Maria on Fox Business Network, marked 25 years on the air by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Aug. 4.
Bartiromo also hosts weekly programs Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street on Fox Business and Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News Channel.
She called the New York Stock Exchange in 1995 “a sea of suits, all men.” That first time on the floor, for CNBC, was “scary,” she said.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Bartiromo added. “There was a fair amount of people who didn’t want me there.”
She described men yelling at her and ramming into her when she was on the air. “I earned my seat at the table--nobody gave it to me,” she said. “I had to deal with ignorance from time to time, people who did not understand what we were doing. I kept going back. I made sure I owned that job and knew my stuff and [detractors] didn’t have anything on me.”
Bartiromo said she developed sharp elbows down on the floor. Over time, she was welcomed by the traders. “There’s amazing camaraderie down there and I was honored to be a part of it,” she said, mentioning the tradition of someone sneaking a ball and chain onto the ankle of a person about to get married, which a trader did to Bartiromo prior to her marriage.
She said the Exchange is a different place for women these days--way fewer traders, even pre-COVID, and a more welcoming environment. “Women don’t face the issues I faced, I don’t think,” she said.
Bartiromo works from home amidst COVID-19. She said most every guest she reaches out to to be on the show is home as well, which has meant better guests for Mornings with Maria. “Guests have been off-the-charts phenomenal,” she said.
In terms of what stands out in her mind across 25 years on the air, Bartiromo mentioned Sept. 11, when she saw the first plane crash into the World Trade Center from her office, ran outside, and saw the second plane smash into the skyscraper too. She stayed at the Exchange all day, then walked up to 14 Street and took the subway home, only to recall it was her birthday.
Bartiromo also mentioned the Exchange reopening Sept. 17. Bob Wright, former NBC CEO, called and told her, “Maria, remember--the world is watching you today,” she said.
She got on the floor and prepared to work. She saw politicians, firefighters and other first responders preparing to ring the opening bell.
“I remember thinking, we are down but we are not out,” said Bartiromo. “We have been hit but we will rise again and we’ll rise again together. It was so empowering to watch that."
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