OLD Media Moves

Providence Journal cutting stock listings

January 8, 2006

John Kostrzewa, the business editor of the Providence Journal, announced in his Sunday column that the paper would be cutting stock and mutual fund listings during the week and the weekend to open up more space for local and national business news.

The column is available here, but the ProJo website can only be read by registering first, so here are the highlights:

1. “We also plan to use more local stories from our suburban staff that have statewide business interest. And we will have more listings, such as the new business incorporations.”

2. “Starting today, the stock and mutual fund tables in the Sunday Money & Business section will be condensed to four pages.”

3. “Daily, the stock listings will be cut back to 900 of the most heavily traded stocks from the previous day and the 1,200 mutual funds with the biggest net asset value.”

4. “We are not immune to changing economies and readership trends that require us to make business decisions in order to run our company while providing the best Business section we can. We’ve tried to do that.”

In the Jan. 4 newspaper, Kostrzewa announced other changes to the section, which can be read here. They included:

“We’re making changes to the Business section. Starting today, the stock and mutual fund tables on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be reduced to one page.” Otherwise, the Wednesday column reads verbatim to what was in today’s paper.

I don’t look at the Providence Journal often enough to make a determination about whether these changes are positive or negative for the paper. But the last comment is telling, I thought. It implies that the business section is being forced to cut the amount of newsprint it uses, which means less space — whether it’s for stock and mutual fund listings or for stories.

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