Since the passing of CNBC’s Squawk Box anchor Mark Haines, business cable has also gone down the tubes while the markets have continued to go up.
His passing marked a new beginning in the era of personalities, you know news “anchors” with opinion and perfect delivery, with a Joe On the Street attitude.
Mark Haines was a man who looked out for the average investor, but came off as a professional news anchor. If any Squawk geeks remember the days at their Fort Lee, New Jersey studios, he was a goofball. He was threatened many times by “management” to be fired, but a GE board would send a fax to the offices across the Hudson sticking up for the man while managers would go MIA. Other times, he would have fallout hats when a foreign markets would go down, potentially insulting the viewer in that region.
He was funny, humorous, and had the opinions, after he did his research.
Most importantly, he was known for his aggressive interviewing style of CEOs or anyone in power. This was the skill he learned in law school before going into TV journalism. I always thought the best anchors had prosecutorial backgrounds. A lot of seasoned professionals in journalism or Corporate America thought he was mean to them. He treated people as if they were no different than anyone else.
The best moments of his career, was the end. Just a week before his passing, Cisco had really historical bad quarter. It was so bad even the street and other business press was speculating if Cisco bought Juniper, Brocade and all the other networking gear companies if that would boost the company. Johnny Boy Chambers (as I like to call him) got grilled by Haines in the middle of the interview with the statement stating things like leadership problems and not blaming the sector as a whole. This lead Chambers into an awkward position. Sadly this was his last quarterly interviews with CEOs as Cisco, being a bellwether IP networking company to be the last company to report.
The interview was so great, I watched it numerous of times.