Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lost Anchor

Yesterday morning, I found out from a Facebook posting by CNBC that their lead anchor, Mark Haines, passed away unexpectedly Tuesday night. He was 65. Tuesday morning I watched him on live TV. Tuesday night he was dead. Mark’s show – financial news, analysis, and interviews – has been part of our weekday morning routine for the past 3 years. His voice was a regular side dish to coffee and breakfast.

Several weeks ago, Mark Haines said a heartfelt and tearful farewell to his co-anchor, Erin Burnett, who accepted a new job with CNN. I was sad to see her go, as she and Mark worked well together and obviously liked each other. I was worried about the show, and who would be chosen as Mark’s new co-anchor. That was not decided before his untimely passing.

The network we look to for financial insight and market updates has now been rocked to its core. Me too, and I’m trying to figure out why, exactly…

The market tanked very soon after we retired; a disconcerting turn of events to say the least. There was a point at which we thought we might have to go find gainful employment again. We saw the bottom of the abyss with Mark Haines and Erin Burnett, and slowly climbed back out again with them. I think we forged a connection during that stressful time.

Mark Haines was a fearless journalist. He would pointedly question CEO’s and politicians, not allowing them to get away with inaccuracies or double-speak. I learned a lot about economics and finance by watching. Mark had a way of explaining things that even a layman could understand. He initiated a lot of interesting conversations about investments between me and Ron, and gave us ideas about questions to ask our financial advisor.

As his co-workers talked about Mark yesterday, they all said that he made them better at their jobs, because he set his own standards so high. They knew if they shared the stage with Mark that they had to be over-prepared, because they had no script and never knew where Mark would want to take the conversation. Even Jim Cramer said he was always a little nervous about being prepared enough for Mark. Who will be our advocate now?

Mark Haines was regular guy, with a wife and two kids. He liked junk food, and loved gardening. But he was larger than life in the world of financial reporting. The floor of the NYSE paused for a moment of silence yesterday. CNBC lost not only an anchor, but their rudder. They can’t replace him – they can only adapt to his loss.

Finally, there is the obvious tendency to draw a personal parallel. Mark Haines died unexpectedly at the fairly young age of 65. If I were to die at 65, that means I only have 10 years left. Not enough! Perhaps it’s time for a little renewed introspection.  Thanks for everything, Mark.  May you rest in peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment