California paper drops printed stock listings

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Joe Livernois, the executive editor of the Monterey County Herald in California, writes about why the paper has decided to cut its printed stock listings from the business section.

Livernois writes, “For the past two years or so, The Herald remained one of the last newspapers our size to publish a full daily listing of stock market activity. In fact, we may have been the last newspaper in the United States not named Investors Business Daily to provide such an exhaustive daily review of stocks and bonds and mutual funds. The Wall Street Journal doesn’t even list as many stocks as The Herald did, until recently, in teeny print, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

“For those of us who don’t dabble in the markets, the stocks listings were dead gray space in the daily paper. For most of us who do pay attention to the markets, the daily newspaper listings were, at the least, redundant — or, at the worst, outdated.

“Now it’s time to put away the magnifying glasses. We eliminated the three pages of stock listings two weeks ago.

“Of course, we received several dozen calls of complaints, not as many as the knucklehead editor received when he dropped For Better or For Worse from the daily comics page a couple of years ago.

“At this juncture in modern society and trade, the vast majority of investors are linked in to their portfolios with immediate digital access. In less time it takes to find the Business page in The Herald, I learned on Yahoo! Finance that Apple stock was up 0.25 percent at 12:04 p.m. Thursday. If I relied on the stocks listings in a printed newspaper, I’d have had to wait until Friday morning to learn how Apple closed on Thursday — and who knows what the stock was doing Friday morning?”

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