OLD Media Moves

Wisconsin paper cuts stock listings

May 7, 2006

The Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper in Wisconsin announced Sunday that it will cut its stock listings, according to a column by Executive Editor Stewart Rieckman.

Rieckman writes, “Beginning today, the normal four pages of stock and mutual fund listings in the business section have been streamlined into a single page. A natural outgrowth of our study of online and newspaper readership habits tells us most people follow their investments on the Internet and the typical newspaper stock pages are what buggy whips were to the automotive industry.

“The stock page in The Northwestern has been customized to reflect the interests of our readers. The list is a product of what readers have requested and adds popular listings of precious metals, currency exchange rates and futures. If a particular stock you are following is not on the list, give us a call and we’ll add it. The net savings in newsprint is significant and the financial information is improved and more useful. It also has allowed us to rearrange pages and sections for more efficient publishing without eliminating any features of the Sunday edition. An offshoot of our stock study shows up Tuesday with an improved daily stocks table that adds 70 listings that readers requested.”

Later, he noted, “The cynics in the crowd may interpret our motives as purely financial gain. OK, we’ll save a bunch of money on newsprint, that’s true, but consider this as well: Last summer we inadvertently ran the same stock pages two Sundays in a row and received only four complaints.”

Read the rest here.

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