Maria Bartiromo -- easily the best-known female financial journalist on television and quite possibly the best-known TV financial journalist, period -- is leaving CNBC next week. The network just confirmed:
"After 20 years of groundbreaking work at CNBC, Maria Bartiromo will be leaving the company as her contract expires on November 24th. Her contributions to CNBC are too numerous to list but we thank her for all of her hard work over the years and wish her the best."
And her statement: “After twenty great years of having a front row seat to some of the most important economic stories in the world, it’s hard to sum up the gratitude and appreciation I have for the team that helped make it happen. I am incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish. I want to thank all the people at CNBC who have been with me on this journey, and of course the viewers and investors everywhere for making me love every minute of it.”
Drudge Report -- which occasionally functions as an advance guard for Fox News, at least in terms of advancing Fox News -- says she's joining Fox Business, though could (and it would be inconceivable if she did not) appear on Fox News Channel, too.
Brooklyn native Bartiromo, 46, who joined CNBC in 1993 after a five-year stint at CNN, became one of TV's first reporters to cover the New York Stock Exchange directly from the floor, during the raucous go-go years when vast fortunes were made (and lost.) She earned a somewhat flattering nickname ("Money Honey"), courted some controversy (sharing a corporate jet ride with a top Citigroup official, which -- among other things -- suggested that CNBC was too cozy with the industry it covered) though ultimately became CNBC's biggest "brand" name, as the anchor of "Closing Bell," who appeared on dozens of other shows, like "Oprah," and what-not.
Best of all -- as fans of the Ramones will attest -- Joey wrote a song about her.