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CNBC's Bartiromoleaving floor of NYSE

CNBC reporter Maria Bartiromo, who was the first TV reporter allowed on the  floor of the New York Stock Exchange, is leaving her morning show to concentrate on other interests at CNBC and NBC News.
Maria Bartiromo was nicknamed Money Honey by New York tabloids.
Maria Bartiromo was nicknamed Money Honey by New York tabloids.NBC via AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

CNBC reporter Maria Bartiromo, whose breathless reporting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was a symbol of the 1990s boom, is leaving her reporting perch.

She said Wednesday she was leaving CNBC's morning show, "Squawk Box," to concentrate on other duties at CNBC and NBC. (MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

Bartiromo was the first TV reporter permitted on the exchange's floor, where she'd deliver rapid-fire specifics on the market's rise and fall — and she wasn't roundly welcomed when she started in 1996.

"I got into screaming matches with guys who could have been my father or grandfather," she said. "There were people who didn't want me there and they made it known. They tried to intimidate me ... It was definitely a challenge in the beginning."

But she caught on, and was nicknamed the Money Honey by New York tabloids. Web sites sprung up devoted to her hairstyles — which fluctuated like the market — and the late rock singer Joey Ramone wrote a song about watching her on TV for his last album.

CNBC's ratings, though, crashed with the market. "Squawk Box" is seen by an average of 184,000 viewers this season, down from 248,000 in 2001, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Bartiromo, who just signed a new five-year contract with NBC, has a weekly interview show and wants to do more for "Closing Bell," CNBC's afternoon market program. She's also starting her own production company and is interested in other opportunities at NBC News, she said.

CNBC's senior trading correspondent, Alexis Glick, will replace Bartiromo at the stock exchange.

Bartiromo has a thick scrapbook of pictures in which she posed with visitors to the exchange, from pitcher Roger Clemens to political leaders from Poland and Italy.

"I'm still a little teary-eyed over it," she said. "I really don't want to leave, but I want to put more energy into doing some of these other things."

And she's bemused, not angered, by being called the Money Honey.

"I truly am humbled and grateful to be noticed," she said.