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Through him, I learned how to stop speaking in paragraphs and pages in the pathological way most academics communicate. Instead, he forced informality, crispness, and candor. He pretended to be a “young curmudgeon” but was really a revolutionary with his rare, unscripted authenticity.
You might not know when it would come, but you didn’t want to miss it when it did: that moment in an interview conducted by Mark Haines when he would cast a skeptical eye at his subject and bear down with that baritone voice in a relentless, but perfectly acceptable way and demand an answer.
A fixture on CNBC since the network's beginning and a welcome daily presence to countless loyal viewers, Mark brought to his work a wonderful mix of intelligence and gruff charm. He helped define not only CNBC but the entire genre of televised business news.
For a young reporter making the move from print to TV, Mark Haines was an intimidating figure. A grizzled veteran of the medium, he didn't suffer fools and took evident pleasure in putting both reporters and guests on the spot.
Mark would have been embarrassed had I told him to his face, but he was an inspiration.
This is a very sad day for CNBC. Without Mark we are not as smart and we are not as funny. He will be greatly missed.
All of us at CME Group are extremely saddened by the loss of Mark Haines. He was a true media pioneer who put financial reporting at the forefront of the 24 hour news cycle. We have enjoyed the opportunities we have had to work with him in the past.
Vintage Mark Haines was his creation of the Alan Greenspan "brief case indicator" on Federal Reserve meeting days. What began in the mind of Mark Haines as a satire on the mystery and opaque workings of the Federal Reserve....took on a life of its own.
I am so saddened by Mark Haines passing, he was far too young and had so much left to accomplish in life. He had an uncanny ability to ask the "right question" as well as a quick wit. More importantly, he was a good person.
We launched Squawk Box together in 1994 and we were proud of delivering something new and something valuable to viewers.
That interview got a lot of media play and was a seminal moment in my CNBC career. But what gave me the most gratification was that now I was a member of the "Mark Haines Club."
I negotiated Mark's first deal and we had a long talk about the fact that he had gone to law school and never loved the law and that broadcasting was his passion... and it must have been, because when we hired Mark, he worked for very little money, but he was always happy.
We have enjoyed his company on and off air for many, many years. He is a legend in the business of financial news and it was an honor knowing him.
Mark Haines had such an engaging television presence that it is difficult to envision whom CNBC will find to fill his shoes.
He was an original. In every sense. As a producer, what I loved about Mark was that he was truly authentic, and never pretended to be anything but who he was.
I still remember walking up to the New York Stock Exchange many years ago and seeing this formidable man sitting on a small chair smoking a cigarette enjoying the spring New York day. Shocked as I was, it was Mark Haines just enjoying a few minutes outside the Exchange.
Mark Haines: unique, talented, brilliant. A curmudgeon, a pro, erudite and beloved.
This is a guy who didn't put on airs. He came to work in ratty sweatpants and god-awful bright-colored Crocs. He didn't suffer fools, but at the end of the day he really was always fair.
To Mark, on air, I was ‘Erb (he dropped the “H”) and since my return he always introduced me saying something like, “Now let’s pay a visit to ‘Erb’s Garden.” I loved it! (Any nickname from Mark was coveted.)
Financial journalism has lost a real pro and I’ve lost a good friend.
Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
Carl Quintanilla is an Emmy-winning reporter and co-anchor of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," broadcast live from the NYSE.
“Squawk on the Street” Co-Anchor
Simon Hobbs co-anchors the 10 a.m. hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" live from the New York Stock Exchange.
Rick Santelli joined CNBC Business News as an on-air editor in 1999, reporting live from the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade.
Sara Eisen is a correspondent for CNBC, focusing on currencies and the global consumer.