Citi: Prince’s Ouster Ungags Bartiromo

Maria Bartiromo waited until Chuck Prince had left the building to start criticizing

him on the record for his role in bad-mouthing her earlier this year. (You

might recall no little innuendo about her relationship with the head of Citi’s

wealth-management unit, Todd Thomson.) Now, Bill Carter reports in the NYT:

Ten months later, she has some pointed words for members of the media who

accused her of unethical behavior, and for Citigroup, including, by name,

Mr. Prince…

She said she had been unfairly caught up in a management upheaval at Citigroup.

She suggested that her relationship with Mr. Thomson — which she conceded

was friendly but said was a source-reporter association — was used as

a diversionary tactic by Mr. Prince to cover whatever his underlying reasons

were for ousting Mr. Thomson.

“Something happened between Todd Thomson and Chuck Prince, and somehow

I got wrapped up in it,” Ms. Bartiromo said. “Clearly, there was

another agenda going on.”

It makes perfect sense that Bartiromo refrained from accusing Prince of "diversionary

tactics" while he was still CEO: Citi remains arguably the most important

company in America, from the perspective of a financial journalist, and there’s

no need to needlessly annoy its chief. That said, Bartiromo’s access to the

top tier of Citi executives does seem to be dwindling somewhat:

The Citigroup spokeswoman, Leah Johnson, said the company had no issues with

Ms. Bartiromo’s coverage. She conducted a prominent interview recently

with the Citigroup senior vice chairman, William Rose.

A prominent interview is an interview with a prominent individual. And the

chap in question can’t be that prominent if a NYT financial reporter,

not to mention all of his editors, have no idea who he is. There is no senior

vice chairman called William Rose; I believe that Johnson was probably referring

to Bill


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