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Four Questions for ‘Money Honey’ Maria Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo has earned good ratings with her two new shows, the daily “Opening Bell With Maria Bartiromo” on Fox Business Network and the live “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox News Channel. Bartiromo, aka “The Money Honey,” burst onto the business-news scene 20 years ago on CNBC, making headlines as the first person to broadcast from the floor of the stock exchange.

When moving to Fox, what was the most important creative element you wanted?
I didn’t want to be in a soundbite situation. I was getting pressure all the time at CNBC to have four or five people at once in interviews for five minutes. I like longer interviews and one-on-ones. I think audiences have changed and don’t want “short-termism”; they want analysis and perspective. That was important to me.

You’re working six days a week. How do you recharge your batteries?
I work out a lot; I ride my bike when I come home. I’ll do 20 or 30 miles a couple of times a week. And I love yoga. It’s really important to separate yourself from work for at least one hour a day, to exercise and put your mind elsewhere.

You’ve copyrighted “Money Honey”; What was the goal?
Somebody came up with that nickname for me, I didn’t invent it. But I have been trying to start a company to teach kids about money. So I came up with the idea of doing something in the style of “Schoolhouse Rock.” We made two videos: “What is a stock?” and “What is an ATM machine?” It was perfect to use a character named Money Honey: I created a jar of honey with a smiley face. I took it to private equity firms and people liked it, they just didn’t want to give me money. So I’ve put it aside (for now).

How did you learn about money?
I grew up in a family that worked incredibly hard. My father worked behind a hot stove in a restaurant he owned, sweating with a bandana around his head. My mother, the same thing. All I ever have watched is my parents working hard and saving their money. That’s why I’m a good saver. Today, how many kids grow up without understanding the value of a dollar?

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