Tag Archives: Obituaries

Memphis Business Journal co-founder dies

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Barney DuBois, a journalist who helped start the Memphis Business Journal in 1979, died Saturday at the age of 68.

Jane Donahoe of the Business Journal writes, “DuBois was a fixture in the Memphis media scene since the 1960s, when he worked as a reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Press-Scimitar.

“But it was with the MBJ that DuBois spent the majority of his career. He co-founded the paper, the Mid-South’s first business weekly, with Ward Archer Sr. in 1979. The pair launched affiliate publication Nashville Business Journal in 1985.

“DuBois worked as news editor and editor of MBJ as well as publisher and CEO of the papers’ parent company until 1997, when he sold the publications to American City Business Journals Inc., a division of Advance Publishing which is owned by the Newhouse family.

“Friends and former colleagues will remember DuBois, who commonly referred to himself as an ‘old hippie,’ for his humor, intelligence and journalistic prowess.”

Read more here.

Dietz fund to help aspiring business journalist attend IRE conference

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Dave Dietz‘s former Investigative Reporters and Editors‘ colleagues and friends have launched a memorial fund at IRE to make sure his legacy is not forgotten.

The David Dietz Fund has been established to support a deserving journalism student or young professional pursuing a business journalism career. It will cover their costs to the IRE annual conference.

Dietz, the Bloomberg Markets reporter who died last week, devoted much of his spare time to IRE.  He took his role as a board member, then treasurer, president and chairman to new heights. He increased membership. He judged its contests. He championed the endowment fund and made sure it was invested appropriately. He was crucial to getting the IRE reserve fund to $600,000, which helped the organization withstand the 2008-2009 recession. He was a mentor to hundreds of journalists, always willing to help with a reporting problem.

Dietz was the go-to guy on business journalism panels. He believed in teaching what he knew, knowing it would enhance the profession he so loved. His death is not only a loss to Bloomberg, where he worked, but to the entire investigative reporting profession. Dietz was a true champion of business reporting. He had more passion as a reporter at 70 than most reporters at the starts of their careers.

IRE will announce its initial fundraising efforts at the conference this coming weekend in Orlando. Its goal is to make sure that Dave Dietz’s name is remembered at IRE long after all of us are gone.

Checks should be written to Investigative Reporters and Editors Inc. with a notation in the memo field that the contribution is for the Dave Dietz Fund. They may be sent to IRE, 141 Neff Annex, Missouri School of Journalism, Columbia, MO 65211

One of the best investigative reporters, but not one of the best known

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Jeremy Hay of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat in California, writes in the Saturday paper about David Dietz, the investigative reporter for Bloomberg Markets who died this past week at the age of 70.

Hay writes, “In 2006, he co-wrote a Bloomberg report, ‘Broken Promises’ about $7 billion in tax-exempt public bond deals that Wall Street firms created and then harvested for millions in fees and investment gains.

“Dietz and his colleagues showed that only rarely did the intended housing and school projects get money from the bond measures.

“The Columbia Journalism Review called the secret practice a ‘scandal of staggering proportions’ and said, ‘If only more business journalists could be similarly angry.’

“His peers recalled Dietz as a dedicated journalist of rare patience and skills.

“‘David Dietz was one of the best, though not best known, investigative reporters in America,’ said David Cay Johnston, a former New York Times reporter who won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on tax code issues.

“‘He undertook the very difficult task of combing through incredibly arcane documents that few people know even exist and translating into plain English how taxpayers are getting routinely ripped off,’ Johnston said.”

Read more here.

Dietz, past IRE president and Bloomberg reporter, dies

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

David Dietz, an investigative reporter for Bloomberg Markets magazine and a former president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, has died.

In a note to the staff on Thursday afternoon, Bloomberg editor in chief Matthew Winkler wrote, “David was an outstanding investigative reporter for Bloomberg Markets magazine. His many contributions over the years — including his final one in March on how companies cheated the poor by misusing federal tax credits intended to reduce poverty — exemplified the best in public service reporting.

“David wrote a follow-up on April 12, reporting that the Treasury Department would reform that program. In a 40-year career, mostly at newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle, he won more than 30 national and regional awards. A past president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, David was honored by IRE with a lifetime achievement award last year.

“David is survived by his wife and two sons. Plans for a memorial service are still being determined.”

Dietz was previously special projects editor at the Chronicle and at TheStreet.com.

Haines was an unlikely icon

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Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman writes Wednesday about CNBC anchor Mark Haines, who died last week, and why he was so successful during his 22 years at the business news network.

Friedman writes, “Haines reveled in his role as resident curmudgeon. He saw himself as something of a viewer ombudsman, accepting the responsibility of representing the interests of the audience, not the corporate sponsors. But he was much more than a chronic naysayer. Haines knew his stuff. He was never at a loss to ask an interview subject a tough question — again, acting as his viewers’ proxy.

“But that isn’t what really endeared Haines to his fans. After all, plenty of men and women in the news business delight in taking their subjects to task or putting them on the defensive. What set Haines apart was the way he communicated with his public.

“You could often see the trace of a smirk on Haines’s face during the broadcasts. It was as if he wanted to signal that he understood that some of the companies issuing the earnings announcements and the press releases were trying to pull a fast one. And Haines would not let them off the hook.”

Read more here.

Why Mark Haines was special

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Eric Jackson of Forbes writes Wednesday afternoon about what made CNBC anchor Mark Haines, who died Tuesday, so special.

Jackson writes, “He was willing to disagree with guests and challenge their unverified ‘talking points.’  And not just in a polite way but in a direct and passionate way.

“I didn’t always agree with Mark’s views, but it was so refreshing to watch someone say on TV what most were thinking at home.

“Why is this so unique? Unfortunately, not just in business TV journalism but in journalism in general, something has happened in the last 15 years.

“Mark Haines or Andy Rooney wouldn’t be hired if they were 25 and trying to break into the business today.  They would be seen as not playing by the rules or full of themselves. Opinions and investigative journalism aren’t welcome in journalism today — especially not on television.

“If you are some 20-something and aspire to be on TV today, you had better be good-looking and articulate.  You don’t have to even know that much about business.  Let’s face it, you can fake it.  Producers can whisper in your ear, you can read the teleprompter, you can be told how to pronounce certain words, or how to calculate fair value of the S&P Futures.”

Read more here.

Getting his CEO subjects to squirm

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Jon Friedman, the media columnist for Marketwatch.com, writes Wednesday about how CNBC anchor Mark Haines — who died Tuesday night at the age of 65 — performed during interviews.

Friedman writes, “Haines could be a gruff but endearing presence on the air. He often had a sly, skeptical smile as he discussed the news of the day. It was his way of telling the viewers watching at home that he was on their side.

“No, he didn’t quite trust CEOs’ platitudes, and he could get his subjects to squirm a bit when he pressed them.

“Haines hailed from the New York metropolitan area. His career began as an attorney. Later he was an on-air presence at TV stations in New York, Philadelphia and Providence, R.I., before he gravitated to CNBC.

“On Wednesday morning, his CNBC colleagues remembered him fondly. Still obviously in shock, one after another, they told moving, heartfelt stories about a teammate they respected.”

Read more here. Haines was once conducting an interview with Rep. Barney Frank about executive compensation that became so heated that Frank walked off.

Confirming the accuracy of a story

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David Hinckley, the TV editor of the New York Daily News, writes Wednesday that CNBC anchor Mark Haines’ legacy will be his insistence on sticking to the facts.

Hinckley writes, “He reported business and financial stories in terms that civilians could understand, but colleagues said today that his entertaining style did not lead him away from confirming the accuracy of his information.

“In an ultra-competitive environment and a business where rumors are daily currency, colleagues said Haines insisted on checking reports and rumors before relaying them to listeners.

“He became such a respected fixture in the financial media community that the New York Stock Exchange observed a moment of silence this morning upon hearing of his death.

“One of his best-remembered moments was saying on March 10, 2009, that he thought the financial markets had hit bottom — just 24 hours before they did. This led his long-time on-air partner Erin Burnett, who left for CNN earlier this month, to admiringly call it ‘The Haines Bottom.’”

Read more here.

CNBC co-workers reflect on Haines

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CNBC’s Joe Kernen, David Faber and Carl Quintanilla reflect on Mark Haines‘ work. Haines, an anchor at CNBC, died Tuesday night.

Here are some great recollections of Haines from other co-workers. CNBC will also air a one-hour tribute to Haines tonight at 7 p.m. EST.

CNBC anchor Haines has died

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Mark Haines, co-anchor of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” died last night at home. He was 65.

Part of the CNBC team since 1989, Haines was the founding anchor of the network’s signature morning show, “Squawk Box,” and helped develop its format. He was a broadcast veteran who served as a news anchor for KYW-TV in Philadelphia, WABC-TV in New York, and WPRI-TV in Providence.

In an e-mail to the staff, CNBC CEO Mark Hoffman wrote, “I know all of you join me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Mark’s wife, Cindy, his son, Matt, and his daughter, Meredith.

“Mark has been one of the building blocks of CNBC since the very beginning, joining us in 1989. 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.”

“Someone asked what it was like working with Mark Haines,” wrote Jonathan Wald, a former senior vice president at CNBC now at CNN, on Twitter. “Truth? He did his thing. The best anyone at CNBC could do was let Mark be Mark.”

Wald also wrote: “Mark Haines was the franchise. Nicest gruff guy you will ever meet. Epitomized the brand, loved the news, cared deeply.”

Haines graduated with a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar. In 2000, he was named to Brill’s Content’s “Influence List.”