UPDATING MY SCOOP POSTED ON SATURDAY, MARCH 11, AT 04:45 P.M.–>
No, that won’t be an April Fool’s Day prank by The New York Times. I’m told that, on April 1st, The Gray Lady confirmed today it’s planning to drop its Monday-through-Friday Tuesday-through-Saturday stock listings on April 4th and to replace them with some kind of new package of interactive tools and market information web access. In the paper will be a very limited 1 1/2 pages 2 pages, trimming those thousands of stock tables to just hundreds the top 100 stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, plus market analysis, mutual fund information, charts tracking individual company performance and lists of foreign currency exchange rates. Plans are being finalized what to do on the weekends. The complete financial tables will continue to appear in the Sunday issue of the paper. Newspaper industry sources tell me that this could represent a $10 million savings to the NYT in newsprint costs and editorial space: “The way for papers to save money short of getting rid of people is to get rid of stock pages.” For years, the nation’s 900+ newspapers have run the AP’s stock tables, so the trend is going to hurt non-profit AP’s revenues. Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times announced that it would condense its tables to a one-page listing of the 1,300 most heavily traded stocks and a list of companies based in Southern California. In the past month alone, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and the Denver Post are just some of the papers that have eliminated their stock listings. But the NYT is the biggest newspaper yet to follow the trend: after the Gray Lady, comes le deluge. Could it be possible that the Wall Street Journal is next? Speaking of the WSJ, I’m told to expect another round of staff cuts through layoffs and attrition.