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It Saves Dollars but Does it Make Sense?

Apr 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Two weeks ago CNNfn switched its ticker crawl of major stocks from symbols to full names. While that may please those confused by the cryptic initials common to stock traders, it has brought complaints from some market pros because stock prices now run 20 minutes behind real-time trading. A CNNfn spokesperson notes that the cable channel still shows live market indices for NASDAQ and the Dow Jones industrial average and insists, “Clarity and straightforwardness are the most important values to our viewers.”
Others argue the delay makes CNNfn’s ticker out of date by the time it rolls across the screen. They call it just the latest money-saving move following cuts in live production and staff. (Live market data can cost as much as $3 million a year.) They also say that CNNfn staffers are feeling very bearish and not at all bullish about the change, which forfeits the live news to already dominant CNBC. “We are firm believers in the democratization of the markets, the little guy having the same chance as the big guy,” CNBC business news chief David Friend said. “You can’t have it with delayed information. [Real-time data] is our bread and butter.”
“We are focused on the vast majority of business news consumers who want the big picture, not the minute-to-minute traders,” the CNNfn person said. That’s interpreted to mean that CNNfn, which plans to eventually rebrand as consumer-friendly CNNMoney, doesn’t care if it loses the trading professionals. Some say that doesn’t make dollars and sense.