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CNBC Star Anchor Maria Bartiromo to Leave After Two Decades

Maria Bartiromo, who helped pioneer cable-television coverage of business news, is leaving CNBC after two decades.

Bartiromo’s contract with her longtime employer, owned by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), expires Nov. 24, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. The Drudge Report said Bartiromo, 46, will join rival Fox Business Network. Caley Cronin, a Fox Business spokeswoman, had no immediate comment.

Bartiromo’s star power could help 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA)’s Fox Business catch up to CNBC in the ratings. Fox Business averaged 46,000 viewers over the past 12 months, compared with an average audience of 135,000 for CNBC for the same period, according to Nielsen data supplied by Brad Adgate, researcher for Horizon Media Inc.

“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,” Brian Steel, a spokesman for CNBC, said in the statement.

Both networks compete with Bloomberg Television, owned by Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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