‘WSJ’ To Launch Stock-Tracking Feature on Web Site

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The Wall Street Journal is launching an online stock market-tracking feature next month as it moves to a smaller size and cuts back on the stock tables in the newspaper.

The new feature will go live Jan. 2, the same day the Journal begins using a smaller format, which will reduce the width of the newspaper from 15 to 12 inches, the equivalent of about one column.

The Journal unveiled the new design of the print newspaper on Dec. 4, and plans to announce the upgrade to its Web site on Monday.

The new section of the Journal’s Web site will called a “market data center” and will be largely open to users who aren’t paying subscribers to the Journal’s Web site. It will be accessible through WSJ.com and also through its own address, http://www.WSJmarkets.com.

Subscribers to the online Journal will get some added features, such as news from WSJ.com, Dow Jones Newswires, and alerts that can be sent to mobile devices such as cell phones.

Many newspapers have also cut back on their stock listings pages as more people go online to look up market data.

Dow Jones & Co., which publishes the Journal, says it expects the smaller size to save about $18 million per year in lower newsprint costs.

Moving to a more widely used size will also allow the paper to be printed in more places, making it easier to produce and deliver to a wider base of readers.

The printed Journal currently carries about 4,500 stocks from the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market, but will only carry about 1,500 under the new design.

Gordon Crovitz, the Journal’s publisher, said in an interview that the 1,500 stocks being listed represent about 94 percent of the total stock market value, and that most Journal subscribers go online to find market data.

“Instead of providing information that is widely commoditized or easily available online, the newspaper will provide more of the value-added analysis of the kind we now publish in the Monday paper,” Crovitz said.

The smaller width will result in 10 percent less room for stories, but cutting back on the statistical tables will offset that loss to 5 percent, Dow Jones has said.

The various changes to the Journal come as Dow Jones is navigating testy contract negotiations with a union representing reporters at the newspaper.

The Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees said last month that its members would stop making voluntary appearances on CNBC to protest Dow Jones’ positions in the talks. However, the union later resumed the appearances, citing potential legal problems with the job action.

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