OLD Media Moves

Marketwatch turns 10, but can it survive for another 10?

October 24, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Mark Glaser of MediaShift writes Wednesday about the future for business news web site Marketwatch now that it’s 10 years old and about to become part of News Corp.

MarketwatchGlaser wrote, “As part of Dow Jones, MarketWatch will become part of the News Corp. empire next year, meaning it could face layoffs while being combined with a new, free version of Wall Street Journal Online (something still under consideration by News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch).

“But to understand MarketWatch’s possible future, you first have to know where it’s been. After the site’s ‘97 launch, MarketWatch became the place for the individual investor revolution, as stock investment became a pastime for the masses during the dot-com heyday. CBS jumped in as a partner in the startup, which became CBS MarketWatch, and it had a booming IPO in early 1999, with its stock gaining 473% on the first day of trading. After the dot-com bust, MarketWatch was sold to Dow Jones in late 2004 for $520 million.

“While the site has been aggressive in posting business news in real time around the clock, it has also suffered from ethical lapses. In 2004, MarketWatch co-founder and commentator Thom Calandra resigned after the SEC investigated his trades of a stock before writing about it extensively and mentioning it on TV. More recently, columnist Bambi Francisco took a stake in a startup, Vator.tv, and started working for the company while continuing to write about dot-com startups covered on Vator.tv. She later resigned.”

He later concluded: “Right now, the business news world is being consolidated and blown to bits — at the same time. Huge online portals such as CNNMoney and Yahoo Finance are trying to aggregate various sources while smaller, specialized blogs and podcasts are catering to the Long Tail of niche interests. As News Corp. pushes its new Fox Business Channel and the Dow Jones acquisition, MarketWatch could easily get lost in the push for consolidation.”

Read more here. Glaser conducted an interview with managing editor Alexander Davis.

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