News, notes and follow-ups

Category: Television

Mark Haines, host of CNBC's 'Squawk on the Street,' dies at 65

Mark Haines, co-anchor of CNBC's morning "Squawk on the Street" show, died unexpectedly on Tuesday evening, the network said from New York. He was 65.

The network said he died in his home. It did not specify the cause of death.

Haines worked at CNBC for 22 years after working as a news anchor at TV stations in Philadelphia, New York and Providence, R.I.

He was the founding anchor of CNBC's "Squawk Box" morning show. In 2005, he started co-anchoring "Squawk in the Morning," a 9 to 11 a.m. show, with Erin Burnett, while "Squawk Box" was pushed to an earlier slot. Burnett recently left CNBC to host a general news show on CNN.

CNBC President Mark Hoffman said Haines was "always the unflappable pro."

"He was an authentic voice in business media," said Eric Jackson, who runs the hedge fund Ironfire Capital. "He resonated with so many people because he would speak out, and with opinion. Too often the media lets the corporate PR army and highly trained CEOs get their points across without question. He wouldn't let that happen."

Barry Ritholtz, head of the research firm Fusion IQ and a frequent guest on CNBC, said Haines was "a no-nonsense straight shooter. He knew what questions to ask and how to ask them."

Ritholtz said that the biggest complaint about CNBC in the 1990s was that its anchors cheered on the stock-market bubble. He said the exception was Haines, who was always skeptical.

"He was trained as an attorney," Ritholtz said. "He brought that keen lawyer's eye to everything he did. It wasn't something often seen in the financial media."

Haines had a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the New Jersey State Bar Assn., CNBC said.

Haines is also remembered for calling a bottom to the stock market decline on March 10, 2009, his first call of the recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average never closed below its level of March 9.

Haines is survived by his wife, Cindy, his son, Matt, and daughter, Meredith.

CNBC said funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

-- Associated Press

'Hub' Schlafly, who helped invent the teleprompter, dies at 91


 Hubert "Hub" Schlafly, a key member of the team that invented the teleprompter and rescued decades' worth of soap opera actors, newscasters and politicians from the embarrassment of stumbling over their words on live television, has died. He was 91.

Schlafly died April 20 at a hospital in Stamford, Conn., after a brief illness, according the Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, which handled the arrangements.

Schlafly helped start the TelePrompTer Corp., eventually becoming its president and accepting an Emmy Award for the company in 1999 — a few years after winning one himself 1992 for his work in developing the first cable system permitting subscribers to order special programs.

Schlafly was born Aug. 14, 1919, in St. Louis. He graduated from Notre Dame University, where he studied electrical engineering. He worked for General Electric and the MIT Radiation Laboratory before joining 20th Century Fox in New York City in 1947.

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One year ago: Fess Parker, TV's Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone

FesIf you grew up in the United States in the 1950s or '60s and watched television, you probably remember Fess Parker, the 6-foot-6 actor who first played Davy Crockett and then Daniel Boone for chief Imagineer Walt Disney. And you might have demanded your own own coonskin cap. Many kids did.

When Parker died one year ago at age 85, Times staff writer Dennis McLellan reminded readers in the obituary that Disney's Davy Crockett character became a marketer's dream:

[Ten] million coonskin caps reportedly were sold, along with toy 'Old Betsy' rifles, buckskin shirts, T-shirts, coloring books, guitars, bath towels, bedspreads, wallets -- anything with the Crockett name attached.Viewers also fell in love with the show's catchy theme song. Bill Hayes' version of 'The Ballad of Davy Crockett' soared to No. 1 on the hit parade and remained there for 13 weeks.

It was a pop-culture phenomenon. As essayist Neal Gabler put it in The Times: "Before Elvis Presley, Beatlemania, 'The Simpsons,' 'SpongeBob SquarePants,' there was Davy Crockett."

After his acting career, Parker became known for his upscale hotels and winery in Santa Barbara County. Although Parker is gone, you can still visit the winery, where you can not only sample wine but also purchase a coonskin cap.


Photos: Fess Parker, 1924-2010

Saddle up at Fess Parker Winery

-- Claire Noland

Photo: Fess Parker as Davy Crockett. Credit: Associated Press / Walt Disney Co.

Country music singer Ferlin Husky dies at 85


Ferlin Husky, a country music hall of famer who had hits with "Wings of a Dove," "Gone" and, with Jean Shepard, "Dear John Letter" in the 1950s and '60s, died Thursday at his home in Nashville. He was 85.

The Missouri native moved to Bakersfield after serving in World War II. He signed with Capitol Records and helped pave the way for Merle Haggard and Buck Owens out of the Central Valley.

We'll have more later at




Ferlin Husky on the Hollywood Star Walk

-- Claire Noland


One year ago: Peter Graves of ‘Mission: Impossible’ and ‘Airplane!’

 Peter Graves was a television star who made light of his image in a memorably comic movie role.

Graves was known to a generation of television viewers as James Phelps in the show "Mission: Impossible." But he joined other actors known for their serious images—Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges and Robert Stack—in the 1980 spoof "Airplane!"

He almost didn't do it.

"I read it and thought, 'Gee, this is dangerous,' " Graves told The Times in late 2009. "It was in terrible taste."

But the film's producer, Howard Koch, urged him to meet with the young filmmakers, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker, who told him that they wanted somebody of stature and dignity to play the role "absolutely straight," Graves recalled.

"They say you are supposed to stretch as an actor, so let's go stretch it," he said.

Graves, who starred in more than 70 television series and feature films, typically playing the straight-laced hero, died a year ago at 83.


--Keith Thursby




Peter Graves dies at 83

Classic Hollywood: 60 years in show business 

Photos: A look back at Graves' career

Hollywood walk of fame







One year ago: former teen idol Corey Haim

HaimTwo decades after being hailed as a teen idol and a promising actor, Corey Haim was on a reality television show with a familiar costar.

Haim, whose 1980s roles included "Lucas" and "The Lost Boys," was reunited in 2007 with fellow former child actor Corey Feldman on an A&E reality show called "The Two Coreys." They worked together in "The Lost Boys," among several films.

Haim had a long struggle with drugs. "I lived in L.A. in the '80s which was not the best place to be," he told Britain's the Sun in 2004. "I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack."

When Haim died a year ago at age 38, police first said the cause was an apparent overdose. "This is a tragic loss of a wonderful, beautiful, tormented soul," Corey Feldman said at the time on his blog.

Nearly two months after Haim's death, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said the actor died of pneumonia and had an enlarged heart.

Haim was born in Toronto in 1971 and started working in commercials at 10. His role in "Lucas" as a teenager in love with an older girl was "one of the most three-dimensional, complicated, interesting characters of any age of any recent movie," critic Roger Ebert wrote.

Other roles included the movies "Murphy's Romance" and "License to Drive" and the television series "Roomies."


Corey Haim dies at 38

Haim is left out of memorial tribute at Oscars

Photos: A look at Haim's career

'The Two Coreys'

'Lucas' trailer

--Keith Thursby


Photo: Corey Haim in the 1987 NBC comedy "Roomies." Credit: Associated Press

David Broder, Pulitzer Prize-winning political writer for the Washington Post, dies at 81 [updated]

Broder David Broder, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post political columnist whose evenhanded treatment of Democrats and Republicans set him apart from the ideological warriors on the nation's op-ed pages, died Wednesday. He was 81.

Post officials said Broder died of complications from diabetes.

Broder, an Illinois native, was familiar to television viewers as a frequent panelist on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. He appeared on the program more than 400 times, far more than any other journalist in the show's history.

To newspaper readers, he was one of the nation's most prominent syndicated columnists. A September 2007 study by the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters found that Broder was second among columnists only to George Will in the combined circulation of newspapers in which his column appeared.

He was the only one of the top five that the group did not label as either conservative or liberal.

"His evenhanded approach has never wavered. He'd make a good umpire," wrote Alan Shear, editorial director of the Washington Post Writers Group, which syndicated Broder's column. "Dave is neither left nor right, and can't even be called reliably centrist. He reports exhaustively and his conclusions are grounded in hard facts."

One of his hallmarks was a special effort to meet lots of average citizens who, in the end, really decide elections. In a 1991 lecture, Broder said reporters should spend "a lot of time with voters ... walking precincts, knocking on doors, talking to people in their living rooms. If we really got clearly in our heads what it is voters are concerned about, it might be possible to let their agenda drive our agenda."

The full Times obituary is here.

-- Associated Press

Photo: David Broder on "Meet the Press" in 2008. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images for "Meet the Press"

Mike Starr, former Alice in Chains musician, dies at 44

Mike Starr, the former bassist for the rock band Alice in Chains whose battle with drugs was chronicled on the reality TV show “Celebrity Rehab,” was found dead Tuesday in Salt Lake City, officials said. He was 44.

Police said they responded to a call of a possible death at a residence. The cause of death was not immediately available.

Starr's former Alice in Chains band mates, Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney, released a statement offering their support for his family. The band's original singer, Layne Staley, died from a drug overdose in 2002.

Alice in Chains shot to fame in the early 1990s. Starr left the band soon after the release of its 1992 album, “Dirt.”

He appeared on the third season of the VH1 show “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.”

-- CNN

Mike DeStefano, finalist in 'Last Comic Standing,' dies


Mike DeStefano, a comedian who finished among the top five finalists last season in NBC's "Last Comic Standing," died Sunday in New York City, according to his representative at 3 Arts Entertainment. The representative wouldn't disclose DeStefano's age or the cause of death.

Born in the Bronx, DeStefano was a former drug addict who became a drug counselor and then started a career in stand-up.


He played at clubs, made television appearances and performed at festivals. He came in fourth place on "Last Comic Standing" (and was interviewed afterward in the YouTube clip above).


DeStefano's death came just days before he was scheduled to perform his one-man show, "A Cherry Tree In The Bronx," in New York.

-- Associated Press


Dwayne McDuffie, comic book writer and 'Static Shock' creator, dies at 49 [updated]

Dwayne McDuffie, who wrote scores of comic books for Marvel and DC and founded his own publishing company before crossing over to television and animation, died Monday, DC Comics said. He was 49.

[Corrected 3:20 p.m.] An earlier post said he died Tuesday. 

The cause and place of death were not immediately known.

McDuffie, a Detroit native, wrote comics for the New York-based DC and Marvel, including runs on "Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight," the Fantastic Four and the Justice League of America. He also penned several animated features, including the just-released "All-Star Superman," ''Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths" and the animated TV series "Static Shock" and "Ben 10: Alien Force."

He founded publishing company Milestone Media in 1992.

[updated 5:55 p.m.] More from the Associated Press:

News of McDuffie's death was first reported Tuesday by the website Comic Book Resources. As recently as last week, McDuffie attended the premieres of the new "All Star Superman" film in Los Angeles and New York, and was scheduled to appear at an event this week at Golden Apple Comics in Los Angeles.

McDuffie tweeted last week that he was "Taking a break from a script I owe to attend the LA premiere of ‘All Star Superman.’"

McDuffie's work for Marvel included "Damage Control," which took a serious but fictional look at a company whose job it was to clean up the damage — both physical and legal — resulting from battles between superheroes and supervillains. In 1992, however, he formed the comic book company Milestone Media, which gave him the freedom and leeway to create his own characters, many of whom were of differing ethnic backgrounds.

Milestone Media focused on multicultural superheroes including "Hardware," "Icon," "Blood Syndicate," "Xombi" and "Static," which was turned into the popular children's cartoon "Static Shock," on which he served as a story editor.

McDuffie also wrote for other titles and characters, too, including Black Panther and Deathlok.

Besides comics, McDuffie was a producer and story editor on Cartoon Network's "Justice League Unlimited," and wrote and produced episodes of other cartoons, including "What's New, Scooby Doo?," "Ben 10: Ultimate Alien" and "Teen Titans."

McDuffie was nominated for two Emmy Awards for "Static Shock," a Writers Guild award for "Justice League" and three Eisner awards for his work in comic books, his website said.

McDuffie's death took his colleagues and friends by surprise.

Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Entertainment, said the writer "left a lasting legacy on the world of comics that many writers can only aspire to. He will not only be remembered as an extremely gifted writer whose scripts have been realized as comics books, in television shows and on the silver screen, but as the creator or co-create of so many of the much-loved Milestone characters, including Static Shock."

Added DiDio: "The industry has lost a true talent."

Tom Brevoort, Marvel's senior vice president for publishing, said McDuffie was a force behind bringing more diversity into comics.

"He was very interested in creating a wider range of multiculturalism in comics, having been profoundly affected by the example of the Black Panther when he was growing up, and wanting to give that same opportunity to others of all races, creeds and religions, which is one of the reasons he left Marvel and co-founded Milestone," Brevoort told the Associated Press. "And he eventually came back to write both 'Beyond!' and 'Fantastic Four' for me."

— Associated Press

TV publicity executive Nancy Carr dies at 50

CarrNancy Carr, a network television publicist who most recently worked for the Hallmark Channels, died Friday at a Los Angeles hospital after a long illness, the Hallmark network announced. She was 50.

Carr had been senior vice president of corporate communications for the Hallmark Channels, which include the Hallmark Movie Channel and the Hallmark Channel. She was vice president of communications at CBS from 1999 to 2004 and worked at Fox from 1992 to 93.

Carr was born Sept. 8, 1960, in La Cañada Flintridge and graduated from USC with bachelor's degrees in international relations and journalism with an emphasis in public relations.

She is survived by her husband, Ronnie Bradford.

-- Keith Thursby

'Meet the Press' host Bill Monroe dies at 90


Bill Monroe, 90, who hosted the long-running Washington political television show "Meet the Press" for nearly a decade, died Thursday at a Washington-area nursing home.

Monroe was the NBC show's fourth moderator, from 1975 to 1984, and interviewed prominent political figures including President Jimmy Carter and U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Tim Russert, the best known host of "Meet the Press," assumed the host's chair in 1991 after a series of short stints by others after Monroe's departure.

Monroe's daughter, Lee Monroe, said her father had taken a fall in December that put him in a nursing home and he had not been well since.

Bill Monroe was born in New Orleans on July 17, 1920. He graduated from Tulane University, served in World War II and later began his career in television journalism at the New Orleans NBC affiliate, WDSU.

In 1961 he moved to Washington, where he became NBC's bureau chief. He worked on the "Today Show," winning the Peabody Award in 1972, and succeeded Lawrence Spivak as host of "Meet the Press" in 1975.

On his first day as the show's permanent moderator he interviewed Gov. George Wallace of Alabama, the staunch segregationist who was at the time running for president.

"Have you personally changed your views about segregation?" Monroe asked.

When Wallace didn't respond directly, Monroe cut him off and repeated the question. Wallace began to stumble through his next response, and Monroe asked a third time: "Have your views changed?"

Wallace finally claimed that race relations were better in Alabama than other parts of the country.

Marvin Kalb, who with Roger Mudd co-hosted "Meet the Press" after Monroe left, called him a "consummate interviewer" and a "gracious host."

"I think fairness was the word that would best describe him as host," Kalb said.

Monroe talked about his career in an interview for the Archive of American Television seen in the YouTube clip above. Listen to the entire interview here.

-- Associated Press




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