Consolidation in Financial Media

Here’s two news stories you may have overlooked this week:

CNN will shut down its struggling CNNfn financial news network in mid-December, giving up its attempt after nine years to compete in a market dominated by CNBC. CNNfn was believed to be marginally profitable.

CNNfn only reaches 30 million homes (out of a possible 110 million). Its deal with Sat provider DirecTV was about to expire, and Murdoch/Fox is rumored to be considering a challenge to CNBC. In that battle, CNNfn would have been collateral damage.

On the internet side, CBS MarketWatch has been put up for sale by MarketWatch. They hope to get ~$400 million for the company. Possible suitors rumored to be bidding are CBS (Viacom) Dow Jones/ WSJ, New York Times Company, the Financial Times Group, as well as Yahoo.

I wish I could say this is a contrary indicator suggesting a long term bottom in the stock market. Instead, I suspect it is merely a sign of additional consolidation in the increasingly competitive media area, as dead tree editions look to bulk up their internet offerings.

Financial network to end after nine years
Seattle Times
Friday, October 29, 2004

MarketWatch, Web News Site, Is Up for Sale
Andrew Ross Sorkin
NY Times, October 28, 2004

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