Thursday, May 26, 2011

Life With Meaning

This past week has been one of reflection for me. The deaths of two journalists and the finale of a media superstar has given me much to ponder.

Tom McEneny was an award-winning editor for CBS News. He died over the weekend of a heart attack at 57. I first worked with him in the 1980's at CBS News. He was an outstanding and dedicated professional who loved life and joined CBS to see the world. His worked appeared on all CBS News broadcasts.

Recently, he landed a job on 60 Minutes. This past Sunday he worked feverishly to finish a piece for that night's broadcast. While cleaning up he felt severe pain. He left his edit room and walked two blocks to a nearby hospital. Emergency room workers report he had no pulse when he arrived. Soon after he was pronounced dead. He leaves behind a wonderful and loving wife and two marvelous grown boys. Tom, thank you for all the memories.

Wednesday morning CNBC viewers learned of the sudden death of anchor and journalist Mark Haines. Mark was an important figure in the US financial industry. He was a pioneer in business news reporting on television. He was a fixture on CNBC for 22 years and the soul of that organization.

Mark was a steady and enlightened voice in the complex and sometimes chaotic world of finance. He was an invaluable link between Wall Street and Main Street. He reported on bull markets and financial calamity with a calming insight and irreverence. When his death was announced shortly before the market opened Wednesday the floor fell silent. He will be missed.

Oprah Winfrey was born in Mississippi to a life that seem to have little promise. Twenty-five years ago this most unlikely of television superstars launched a talk show that would go on to change the television industry.

Her final show was filled with reflections and meaning for all her viewers. Describing her set as "the world's biggest classroom" she delivered a powerful message. "You are responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and the energy you bring to others," she said. "Don't wait for somebody else to save you, to complete you, to fix you."

"Each one of you has your own platform," she continued, "My greatest wish is for all of that you carry (on) whatever you are supposed to be doing and don't waste any more time."

Tom, Mark and Oprah lived by those words.

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