“One of my secrets to success is simple: I work really hard. I know there are no shortcuts, and I’ve carried out my career in that way,” Maria Bartiromo says of her 25-plus years in journalism. “There are a lot of people who can get in front of a camera and be articulate. But you really need to know your stuff. And you need to own it…so that nobody can push you around.”
Bartiromo has lived by these words, as the first person—male or female—to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange back in 1995 while working at CNBC. She made a commitment to herself to remain unfazed by the turbulent scene of the NYSE floor, which included being shoved aside by male brokers twice her age. “Even though many of them didn’t want me there initially, I pushed back,” she recalls, crediting her Brooklyn upbringing for her tough skin. “There were plenty of situations when I could have gotten intimidated and gone home. But I didn’t.”
Prior to her groundbreaking debut on the NYSE floor, Bartiromo worked for CNN for five years before landing at CNBC, where she spent two decades and proudly says she helped build the network across the globe. In 2014, she decided to take on new challenges at Fox, where she now anchors her own morning show, Mornings with Maria, and the weekend show Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street (formerly Wall Street Week), as well as Sunday Morning Futures on Fox News Channel, which boasts the highest ratings of a weekend cable show. She’s also won two Emmys, moderated three presidential debates, written four books, acted in three movies, and had Joey Ramone write a song about her (aptly titled “Maria Bartiromo”). But when asked about her proudest moment, the lifelong New Yorker gushes about the time she threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium. “That was one of the most exciting days in my entire career,” she recalls. “I got it right over the plate, and it was awesome.”
But how does Bartiromo manage to balance her schedule of working six days a week, 17 hours per day, with actually having a life? While most of us are fast asleep at 3:30 a.m., Bartiromo is starting her day. And then it’s nonstop until she falls into bed around 8:30 p.m. Bartiromo sat down with us on an early-December morning to walk us through her activities for that day—which was even busier than the norm.
3:30 a.m. “The first thing I do is go through the wires to see what has happened and what’s happening right now,” Bartiromo explains. “I’ll go through different newspaper sites—the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Post, the New York Times, just to get a sense of what everybody else is reporting. I’ll put on different TV channels when I’m getting ready.”
3:45 a.m. Bartiromo’s hair and makeup people arrive at her Manhattan home to get her camera-ready.
4 a.m. She has a daily phone call with her team. “We check in at 4, and then we speak again at 5:30 every morning,” Bartiromo explains.
5 a.m. “When I get into the studio around 5/5:30, I will have already gone through the script and the show with my producer the day before, and then again on the phone on my way in,” she says. “Oftentimes, breaking news happens, and we have to just rip up the rundown and start again.”
6 to 9 a.m. Mornings with Maria airs live. “The three-hour show is jam-packed with guests,” Bartiromo offers. “Today I had Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; Joe Kaeser, the CEO of Siemens; somebody on National Cookie Day. It’s very much a broad, diverse group of guests.”
9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Running on only a tea or coffee, Bartiromo might grab breakfast following her broadcast, and then her postshow itinerary varies by the day. “I’ll usually have meetings after the show. Then I’ll try to schedule a lunch with one of my sources.” Her go-to power-lunch spots include The Plaza Hotel, Cipriani, and Forty Four. On this particular day, Bartiromo does a taping for a future show at noon before having lunch with one of her sources—the CEO of a major bank.
“Because I have to get up so early, I take an hour or two-hour nap sometime during the day, if I can,” she admits. “But I won’t be able to do that today.” Yoga also helps keep the 51-year-old grounded amid her chaotic work obligations. With a personal yoga instructor at her disposal, she makes the practice a part of her daily ritual as often as possible, either at noon or 5 p.m.
4 to 5 p.m. Today, Bartiromo is filling in for her colleague Neil Cavuto as the anchor on his show Your World. “This is a longer day than typical,” she explains. “Usually it’s not this long.”
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. After hours, Bartiromo may cook at home with her husband or order takeout or check out one of their favorite restaurants (such as The Polo Bar or seafood spots like Milos or Avra). “It’s hard to make time for social things with this kind of a schedule. But I try to just make sure everything’s on the early side,” she says. “You need to have a life. I work hard, and I love what I do. But you definitely need an opportunity to say, ‘OK, now this is my time.’ And so I do that through yoga, and I’m a big biker…and I just recently took up meditation.”
With a house in Westhampton, Bartiromo and her husband are out east every weekend, where they enjoy biking back and forth on the 14-mile-long road where they live. “We’ll walk on the beach every weekend, too; we’ll bundle up and get out there.” The outdoorsy couple usually plans an annual hiking vacation, but this year the big trip was a weeklong excursion to Marrakech. Bartiromo shared with her 439,000 Twitter followers photos from the Sahara desert on New Year’s Eve.
It seems Bartiromo has secured balance in her life—working diligently at her job while finding inner peace through self-care techniques. And what’s next for the ambitious media maven is anyone’s guess. Grateful for the opportunities that have been afforded to her thanks to her own good old-fashioned work ethic, a content Bartiromo admits, “I can’t say that there’s anything that I’m dying to do that I haven’t done yet.”
Offering advice to those who might want to follow in her footsteps, she stresses that in addition to working incredibly hard, “You have to love what you do…. And also just do the right thing. Because your reputation is the only thing that will always follow you everywhere you go.… You have to cherish it. You have to protect it.”
Main image: Red cashmere coat, GUCCI, gucci.com. Navy knit sheath, VINCE, vince.com. Yellow and white multi-diamond earring, ARCOT FINANCE, arcotfinance.com. Gold watch, CARTIER, cartier.com. Curb chain gold bracelet, VERDURA, verdura.com.