The Business On... Erin Burnett, CNBC news anchor

The Money Honey?

Oh no. No, no, no. That's Maria Bartiromo, CNBC's other female star and the first woman to report from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Erin Burnett has been at the business channel only since 2005, but she has arguably now eclipsed Bartiromo in terms of her fame and profile.

How so?

Well, they no longer call her Maria 2.0. Younger (she is still only 34), sassier and – according to some – smarter too, Burnett has found herself in demand not just across the CNBC schedules but on network television, where she does a good line in explaining the intricacies of what goes on in Wall Street to the masses.

How come she's so smart?

She actually began her career on Wall Street, as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, no less, working on the mergers-and-acquisitions team at the bank. She also spent time at Citigroup, where they put her on the bank's in-house television network. It is that sort of grounding that means she can't be dismissed as just a pretty face.

Bartiromo must hate her.

The gossip columns went into overdrive when Bartiromo trademarked the name Money Honey, portraying it as a warning shot against her upstart rival. Certainly they fight each other for scoops, but they insist they are friends, and Burnett dismissed all the rumours as "a male fantasy thing".

How do their bosses see it?

As far as CNBC goes, they are equals, Burnett co-hosting the morning show Squawk on the Street, which is shown on the channel in Europe, and Bartiromo taking Closing Bell in the afternoon. But if reports circulating yesterday are true, Burnett is about to jump ship from business television and take a mainstream show on CNN.

She's ambitious, then?

Absolutely. Nothing has been made public yet, but the expectation is she could take an afternoon slot at CNN. And if she does – well, then she really will be going head to head with the Money Honey.

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