How business reporters got to the NYSE trading floor
Bob Zito of Zito Partners recalls when he was executive vice president of the New York Stock Exchange and convinced it to allow reporters on the trading floor.
Zito writes, “Since 1987, the NYSE had let credentialed television crews come into the Exchange and tape pieces (or do some live shots) from what was called the ‘Members’ Gallery,’ a long thin walkway above the trading floor.
“But in the plan we laid out for Dick, we wanted to let networks broadcast from the trading floor. It was – in essence – putting a ‘helmet cam’ on the quarterback.
“While it included what we hoped to do in his first 100 days, the plan was a five-year marketing initiative that we believed would elevate the Exchange to global prominence, creating a brand that would be unsurpassed in its space.
“As I walked through the plan with Dick, he gradually began smiling and finally said, ‘It’s brilliant. But you convince The Animals.’
“‘The Animals’ was our endearing term to describe some of the personalities on the ‘The Floor’ (better known as the trading floor).
“Convincing them was not easy. The Floor – at the time – was about 3500 people, a mix of specialists, traders, their clerks and NYSE employees. It was crowded, rough, but the greatest environment anyone could work in.”
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