The moderators for Tuesday's Republican presidential debate on Fox Business Network are Maria Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto, and Gerard Baker. The former two are anchors on Fox Business, and Baker is the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal. Overall, they should provide a much more reliably conservative outlook than was seen in the CNBC debate.
Who is Maria Bartiromo?
Maria Bartiromo is 48 years old, married, and probably best known for her 20 years of work on CNBC — a business news channel that's considerably more prestigious and higher-rated than Fox Business. At CNBC she hosted a variety of shows including On the Money, Closing Bell, Market Wrap, and Business Center. She was known informally by the nickname "Money Honey" because the business news audience is gross and because when she started out, she was the only woman reporting live from the New York Stock Exchange. Later she embraced the nickname and even trademarked it, with an eye toward using it on "kids' TV and books ... school supplies, DVDs, mouse pads, jigsaw puzzles, dolls, and backpacks, among other items."
Bartiromo's move to Fox, announced in November 2013, has been FBN's biggest play to break through as a mainstream business news source. Bartiromo was one of CNBC's highest-profile anchors, and appears to have simply gotten a more lucrative financial offer from Fox. She expressed some doubts about the CNBC debate moderators to the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove, saying, "I don’t want to come across as criticizing people who I’ve known for a long time," which, of course, is a way of criticizing them.
Who is Neil Cavuto?
Neil Cavuto is 57 years old and has been Fox News's main face of business journalism since the network's inception in the mid-1990s. Following the launch of FBN he has taken a role on the business specialty channel, but he continues to be a prominent voice on the main Fox News hosting a daily show called Your World With Neil Cavuto.
Of the three anchors, he is the most straightforwardly conservative. He helped shaped the Fox News brand and thoroughly endorses its right-leaning take on news coverage. He writes columns deploring labor unions, criticizing congressional Republicans for not fighting Obama harder, and condemning antitrust enforcement actions. It will be interesting to see if Cavuto challenges the mainstream GOP candidates from the right.
Who is Gerard Baker?
Last but by no means least is Gerard Baker, the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal. The Journal is probably the most prestigious name in business news, and it is owned by the News Corporation, the same company that owns FBN, so it's natural for them to team up for a business-focused debate.
At the same time, the editorial values of the WSJ's news pages (as opposed to its editorial page) have long been quite distinct from those of the more overtly conservative Fox News. Baker joined the WSJ in 2009 and has been editor-in-chief since 2013. Since his installation, Baker has been a force pushing the WSJ in a more conservative direction, and in his own (relatively rare) television appearances he has been stridently conservative and vociferously anti-Obama. Still, the Journal as a whole maintains a neutral tone befitting classic American newspaper values, so it will be interesting to see what version of Baker shows up — the former columnist for conservative British newspapers or the current editor of a mainstream American one.