CNBC Anchor Mark Haines Dies at 65, Net to Air Special on Him Tonight (Video)

Craig Blankenhorn/NBC Universal

Network president Mark Hoffman calls the veteran "one of the building blocks of CNBC from the very beginning."

NEW YORK -- Longtime CNBC anchor Mark Haines passed away unexpectedly Tuesday night. The cause of his death was not revealed. Haines was 65.

CNBC anchor Carl Quintanilla read a statement announcing his colleague's passing on the air Wednesday morning shortly before 10 a.m. ET. The network will air CNBC Special Report: A Tribute to Mark Haines at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Network president Mark Hoffman called Haines, who joined CNBC in 1989, "one of the building blocks of CNBC from the very beginning."

"It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I let you know that Mark Haines passed away last night in his home," Hoffman said in an email to staffers. "I know all of you join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Mark's wife, Cindy, his son, Matt, and his daughter, Meredith."

Hoffman added: "With his searing wit, profound insight and piercing interview style, he was a constant and trusted presence in business news for more than 20 years. From the dotcom bubble, to the tragic events of 9/11, to the depths of the financial crisis, Mark was always the unflappable pro. Mark loved CNBC and we loved him back. He will be deeply missed."

Haines was the founding anchor of CNBC's morning flagship program Squawk Box and also co-anchored the network's spinoff Squawk on the Street with Erin Burnett, until she departed the network earlier this month. 

Traders on the clamorous New York Stock Exchange floor paused for a moment of silence this morning. 

"He worked his way into this community very well. When the news popped out this morning it swept across the floor in a manner usually reserved for some large geopolitical event that moves markets," Art Cashin, director of floor operations for UBS, told "Everybody was riveted."

Word of Haines sudden death also quickly spread on Twitter with condolences and reminisces pouring in from colleagues and friends.

Former CNBC executive Jonathan Wald wrote on Twitter that Haines was the "nicest gruff guy you will ever meet, [He] epitomized the brand, loved the news, cared deeply." 

CNBC correspondent Phil LeBeau wrote, also on Twitter: "His wit and tough approach to handling interviews will be missed."

CNBC contributor Andrew Ross Sorkin added: "He was a legend." 


Twitter: @georgszalai