Mark Haines: Jonathan Wald Remembers

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.

Jonathan Wald
Jonathan Wald

Mark would never be so bold or self-centered to suggest it – but everything about the way he looked at the world, and presented it on TV, embodied what the network was always meant to be. Doubting. Questioning. Sarcastic. Exciting. Intelligent. Fun. Even, at times, cranky.

At lunch once, shortly I after I began running the network’s news operation, Mark and I talked about everything but CNBC. He cared about his kids, his tomatoes, and making his commute to Wall Street as short as possible. He seemed to appreciate that I remembered him from his time at WABC-TV in New York, that we both spent years in local news, and that we shared a weakness for unhealthy salted snacks.

Near the end of lunch he asked what I thought about the programming. He really wanted to know if I was planning any changes. When I told him I was worried about “later in the day” he said he loved his job and would appreciate not hearing from me. We laughed and he insisted on dessert.

In Memoriam: Mark Haines
In Memoriam: Mark Haines

When I told people where I worked they almost always said they disagreed with Cramer, thought Faber seemed smart, and loved Haines. When the market tanked and NBC Nightly News needed someone to explain it, they asked for Mark. His was the voice of reason.

It’s hard to imagine CNBC without Mark Haines but knowing him, I’m sure he’d disagree, grumble something about changing the subject, and reach for the snacks. Mark always had his priorities straight.

Jonathan Wald was SVP of Business News at CNBC. Mr. Wald is now Executive of Producer Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN.