(Reuters) - High-profile business television personality Maria Bartiromo, nicknamed the "Money Honey," is leaving CNBC after 20 years to take a job at rival Fox Business Network, according to a source familiar with the matter.
CNBC President and Chief Executive Mark Hoffman announced Bartiromo's departure in a memo to employees on Monday and said she will leave the company when her contract expires on November 24.
Hoffman did not say where Bartiromo was going, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed media reports that she was headed to Fox Business Network, the cable network founded six years ago by Rupert Murdoch's Fox to take on CNBC, which is owned by Comcast.
A Fox spokeswoman did not respond to questions.
The Fox Business Network, which launched in October 2007, become profitable in June but trails CNBC in the ratings.
Bartiromo, 46, is expected to also appear on sister network Fox News, the No. 1 cable news channel in the ratings, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Bartiromo joined CNBC in 1993 and became the first journalist to report daily live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. She was the anchor on CNBC's "Closing Bell" which aired for two hours during the week and a half-hour show on Sundays called "On the Money."
"She has been at the center of every major financial and business news story, working hard for CNBC, since her earliest days fighting it out on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in the mid-90s," Hoffman said in the memo obtained by Reuters.
Hoffman added that the network will use various anchors on an interim basis before it finds permanent replacements.
In 2007, Bartiromo was in the news for her ties to a senior Citigroup executive who spent $5 million of corporate funds to sponsor a show on the Sundance Channel that would include Bartiromo as a host. The executive later lost his job.
In July 2004, Bartiromo was criticized for interviewing Citigroup Chairman Sanford Weill while owning 1,000 shares of the bank's stock, which she disclosed at the beginning of the interview. CNBC later barred news staff and managers from owning individual stocks or corporate bonds.
Bartiromo has won two Emmy awards and written several books as well as columns for magazines and newspapers, including USA Today. She is married to Jonathan Steinberg, the CEO of ETF provider WisdomTree Investments and son of former corporate raider Saul Steinberg.
(Corrects to delete report that Bartiromo will start at Fox on Monday in paragraph 6)
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Eric Walsh)