Tag Archives: Agate changes
by Chris Roush
The Tacoma News-Tribune has cut its Sunday stock listings as part of an overall redesign of the newspaper.
Executive editor Karen Peterson writes, “Newspapers across the country have done away with stocks listings as people have gone to the Internet for that information (including our own website). Few readers have complained. We will continue the daily listing of local stocks in our Business section.
“We’ll use some of the newfound space for ‘Money Power,’ a column about personal finance topics including savings and investing, college costs, retirement planning and taxes.
Read more here.
Earlier this year, the New London Day in Connecticut moved its Sunday listings to Saturday while The Oregonian in Portland dropped all weekend listings.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch, a Media General paper, is added to its business coverage, returning its standalone business section for the first time since it was cut in 2006.
“With a section front Tuesday through Saturday, we’re adding a fourth page of business news. We’re expanding our daily stock listings — as other newspapers across the country eliminate their listings or reduce them. And we’re providing readers with new content.
“Sunday’s Moneywise and Monday’s Metro Business sections remain the same.”
Read more here. Only a handful of papers that cut standalone business sections in the past five years have added them back.
The New London Day in Connecticut is moving its printed stock listings from Sunday to Saturday.
A brief states, “The Day’s Sunday markets page, which includes end-of-week prices for stocks and mutual funds, along with a markets summary, will be moving to the Saturday edition beginning on Feb. 26.
“The change is the result of The Day’s move to print the daily and Sunday editions at The Providence Journal. As part of that process, the Sunday Business section will now be printed before those stock-and-fund tables are available.
“The full page of market information, which is transmitted each Friday night from the Associated Press, will appear in the Saturday Business section in The Day.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Carol Hanner, the managing editor of the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina, explained to Talking Biz News the recent changes made to its business coverage, including an expanded Sunday business section.
“Our new Sunday business section has added a local Q&A or business profile in addition to the Sunday cover story and secondary story we normally do, a column by a local consultant on job searching skills and techniques and a personal finance column by syndicated writer Scott Burns,” said Hanner.
“Previously, we had a half page of business inside the A-section, with the other half being daily stock listings. We eliminated those, on the premise that they had been so reduced that they weren’t totally useful and most people who monitor stocks daily aren’t looking to the newspaper for that.
“We got a lot of complaints, primarily from older readers who don’t have computers or don’t like using their computers, and they don’t really use the paper for trading, but they just liked looking at them. We do have stock listings on Sunday, so many subscribers accepted that, although they would prefer to have them daily.
“We also stopped publishing two Wall Street Journal pages in Sunday business, purely because of the cost, especially the news print. That was a tough decision but our options financially would have been to cut another reporter, so I opted for focusing on local coverage first. That didn’t generate the opposition that daily stock listings removal did.”
The Coshocton Tribune newspaper in Ohio is cutting its daily printed stock listings.
The move continues a trend where the smaller dailies and weeklies have begin cutting their printed stock listings. The metro dailies began cutting their printed stock listings three or four years ago.
Other newspapers that have cut their standalone business section include the Boston Globe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Orange County Register, St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, Denver Post, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal, Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, Monterey (Calif.) Herald, Palm Beach Post and Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal.
Read more here.
The Oregonian, the daily newspaper in Portland, has cut its weekend stock and mutual fund listings from the paper, effective this weekend.
Therese Bottomly, the paper’s managing editor, writes, “The weekly roundup of stocks will no longer appear in Saturday’s Business section, starting with today’s edition of The Oregonian. The same is true for the weekly mutual fund roundup that has appeared in Sunday Business. That goes away as well.
“On Saturdays, there will be a daily stocks page just like there is Tuesday through Friday now.
“The Oregonian has added a stocks lookup online so readers can follow their favorite stocks.”
Read more here.
Andrew Alexander, the ombudsman for the Washington Post, writes about some recent errors in the business section.
Alexander writes, “On the Wednesday before Christmas, the entire half-page package of listings for the financial markets was repeated from the previous day. Every chart and index, from the Dow Jones Industrials to currency rates to commodities prices, was identical.
“Some readers who rely on the newspaper to track investments expressed irritation and dismay. ‘I find it to be unbelievable that the editing has gotten so thin that something like this can happen,’ wrote Alan Negin of Reston.
“Several others noted that the Federal Employees’ Thrift Savings Plan, listed in each Sunday’s Business section, contained months-old performance ratings from October. ‘This information is of interest to thousands of us active and retired feds,’ wrote District reader Sarah Rouse. ‘Please give us current data.’”
Read more here.
Derek Donovan, the reader’s representative at the Kansas City Star, writes about the response the paper got to its Thursday business section front.
Donovan writes, “I had to laugh to myself at this morning’s news meeting during the critique of the day’s paper. While reviewing pages from the print edition, a few editors noted the Business centerpiece, which was made from a table of regional stock listings instead of the photo or graphic usually seen there. This is the kind of thing newspaper people generally consider bad design.
“One caller this morning had quite a different take on it, though. ‘I wish every day the Business page looked like it does today,’ she said. ‘That’s what we care about — how those stocks are doing, some big overblown picture that people who are concerned about money don’t care about.’
“Other readers have told me similar things — they they’d prefer more text and fewer visual elements to the page. On the other hand, I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve heard for photos and illustrations, too.”
Read more here.
Reuters announced Thursday it will offer automated delivery of customizable, print-ready financial data layouts to U.S. newspapers at what it calls “an attractive price.”
The move puts Reuters in competition with the “Money & Markets” product offered by the Associated Press.
The offering, Reuters Financial Infographics (RFI), provides camera-ready pages and graphs that can be customized to individual newspaper requirements.
“RFI was created as part of a larger strategy to address the challenges facing media owners today,” said Christoph Pleitgen, managing director of Reuters news agency for Thomson Reuters, in a statement. “Our media customers told us they need more than content, they need workflow solutions. And the solution we are launching today is specifically tailored for the needs of U.S. newspapers.”
Reuters’s partner in delivering this new product is Custom Flow Solutions, a development firm specializing in publishing automation.
Read the release here.
Lee Barnes, the editor of the Hickory Daily Record in North Carolina, writes Sunday about the decision to drop printed stock listings from the paper.
Barnes writes, “Did you notice that we no longer have the stock market listings in our newspaper?
“Judging by reader response, you probably didn’t. We had 30 people call to complain. That’s well under 1 percent of our readers.
“Any regular feature in our paper that attracts less than 1 percent of our readership would be considered a dismal failure, but this decision was different. Those 30 callers were older, loyal readers who don’t have home computers, or prefer not to use them.
“In this electronic age, stocks reports are one of two things that newspapers do poorly. When you pick up your paper in the morning, those stocks listings have already been available for free on the Internet for more than 12 hours.”
Read more here. Disclosure: I have been a trainer on business news coverage for the Hickory Daily Record in the past three months and worked with Barnes at the Tampa Tribune.