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.
But he always had a twinkle in his eye, and the more time I spent on air with him, the more I realized how much he loved reporting on business news, and that his blunt questions made him one of the best in the business.
Nothing was a better sign that I'd done a good job with a story than if Haines paused, departed from script and reacted or asked me a question after I tossed back to him. When Erin Burnett called me laughing to share the secret nickname Haines had given me a nickname, which he shortened to an acronym, I knew I had earned his attention and respect.