No, that won’t be an April Fool’s Day prank by The New York Times. I’m told that, on April 1st, the Grey Lady is planning to drop its Monday-through-Friday stock listings and to replace them with some kind of new web access. In the paper will be a very limited 1 1/2 pages, trimming those thousands of stock tables to just hundreds. Plans are being finalized what to do on the weekends. 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. 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 Grey 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.
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