It seems like half of CNBC’s on air talent is on vacation this week. And, if you trust this story on today’s Page Six, it’s not a moment too soon.
The femmes have become a bit more fatale over at the business network, according to Page Six. There are apparently too many queen bees and too little honey in the hive of CNBC.
CNBC'S endless fawning over "Money Honey" Maria Bartiromo and her younger, fast-rising rival Erin Burnett has the network's lesser-known finance femmes on the warpath.
A source says reporters including sexy blonde Melissa Francis, who covers energy, have complained to CNBC suits that while they get zip, Bartiromo and Burnett are treated like princesses - with massive promotion, regular gigs on the "Today" show and "NBC Nightly News," perks such as limos and gushing quotes from network brass in newspaper articles.
"The catfight that started with Maria being jealous of Erin's rise has spread down the line. Now all of the other female reporters are getting p - - - ed off," our insider said.
"They're going to management and telling them they want equal treatment - better public relations, better placement on the air. They are all being divas now. It's gotten ridiculous."
Page Six adds that “CNBC has muzzled Bartiromo, Burnett and Francis.” But an unnamed network flack denies everything. “That’s insane. It sounds like the jealousy is coming from outside the building," the flack says.
This should probably be read with a bit of skepticism. To begin with, some of the details are wrong. Melissa Francis is the host of On The Money, not “an energy reporter.” More importantly, here at the DealBreaker Bunker we’ve got a pretty good idea about what goes on inside the Global HQ of CNBC and we haven’t heard anything about a “catfight.” The ordinary rivalry that goes on insider all networks—certainly. But this seems overstated.
After the jump, a very boring reading of the Page Six item and two crazed, conspiratorial readings.
First, the boring reading. You can probably safely read the story as using dramatic language to describe ordinary business negotiations at the network. Catfight=standard issue rivalry. Going to management=noticing that some others get perks and asking for them too. Under this reading, Page Six just sexed it up a bit.
The first conspiracy theory reading begins like they all do: following the money. We’re sure that executive at the soon-to-arrive Fox Business Channel—which is owned by News Corp, which just happens to own the New York Post—aren’t too broken up about trouble at their rival. Conspiracy minded readers have already started spinning a theory that the story was planted by Fox Business executives hoping to splinter CNBC. That’s a bit implausible, however, since we can’t imagine that anyone could succeed in poaching one of the network’s anchors by dreaming up a fight.
A counter-conspiracy theory has also been submitted by readers. This one holds that the entire “cat fight” story line was created by the women of CNBC themselves, hoping to scare better deals out of the network by scaring them into worrying that Fox might poach their top talent. Again, we’re skeptical about this one because, well, it’s way too complex. Too many moving parts. The sisterhood can't be that strong, can it?
Melissa Francis won our most recent Reader Poll. Erin Burnett is also a favorite of readers. Maria Bartiromo, hasn't faired as well lately in the polls, but she did score the first interview with Angelo Mozilo after Bank of America invested in Countrywide. Which probably made her feel better.
Not Enough Honey At CNBC [Page Six]