In Memoriam: Mark Haines

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    The NYSE may have been the Mark's home for the many years that he anchored "Squawk on the Street" from that floor, but he also found his way into the hearts of many of the traders here at the Nymex.

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    More than once Mark and I sparred on air about what was happening with the Big Three as they were losing billions of dollars.  I loved those exchanges.

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    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.)

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    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.

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    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.

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    Corporate executives, on-air guests, commentators and contributors on CNBC had a special appreciation for Mark Haines.

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    Mark Haines had such an engaging television presence that it is difficult to envision whom CNBC will find to fill his shoes.

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    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.

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    "He was the standard. He was our Huntley, Brinkley, Cronkite and Mike Wallace all in one."

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    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.

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    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."

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    We launched Squawk Box together in 1994 and we were proud of delivering something new and something valuable to viewers.

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    I learned an important lesson from Mark Haines as I embarked on a TV career five years ago after a quarter-century in print. It was the value of authenticity.  On TV, Mark was the same person that he was off the air.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Jonathan Wald

    Mark Haines was CNBC, and CNBC was Mark Haines.  I learned this from Mark himself and the countless people who gave me their opinions of CNBC when they found out I worked there.

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    For years I worked with Mark Haines on Squawk Box, usually Friday mornings as a guest or guest host. We go back a long way. He called me 'Lawrence of America.' The nickname stuck. I loved it. Like every one I was stunned to hear the unspeakably bad news this morning.

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    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.

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    He taught me how to decifer the news and then showed me how to bundle it all together into one special package. That package became Squawk Box.

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    While I was waiting for the elevator to go back to my office from the NYSE floor this morning, the CEO of Heinz, Bill Johnson, came over to say hello. "I'm sorry about your loss," he said. "Mark was a great lover of ketchup, and a great lover of Heinz products." He was indeed. His death came like a thunderclap on the NYSE floor.