In Memoriam: Mark Haines

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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.

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    The word I've heard more today about Mark Haines than any other is "authentic." He was surely that.

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    It was an honor and a privilege to work with Mark for these past 22 years.

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    My heart goes out to the the family of Mark Haines. I was saddened and shocked when I first heard of Mark's passing. To me, Mark was always larger than life, both in stature and on air.

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    When CNBC started, Mark gave us a sense of stability and security.  Six years later, in 1995, Mark gave CNBC what it needed most: its voice. Its personality. On the premiere of Squawk Box that year, Mark promised "a program like you've never seen before." Boy, did he have that right.