Earlier this week, CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo interviewed ousted Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain on the air about his departure.
But what wasn’t disclosed was that Bartiromo and Thain share the same public relations professional Ken Sunshine. And that’s leading some to question whether that relationship should have been disclosed before the interview.
Richard Johnson of the New York Post writes, “Sunshine admitted to us he represents both Bartiromo and Thain, the latter having hired him just recently. ‘The relationship between John and Maria long precedes our relationship with him,’ Sunshine insisted. But he had no comment on whether he had a hand in lining up the interview. CNBC didn’t get back to us.”
Read more here. A CNBC spokesman stated, “There is no conflict, and there is no surprise. Of course John Thain appeared first on CNBC.”
Bartiromo has been no stranger to controversy with past interviews either. She was criticized for disclosing right before an on-air interview with Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill that she was a shareholder in the company.
And she has been criticized for commenting about Blackrock CEO Stephen Schwarzman, a personal friend, on the air.