FT Gives a New Starbucks the Section-Front Treatment

It’s not like there’s a dearth of stories in financial journalism these days.

So what is the Financial Times doing slapping a story about the New York Stock Exchange getting a Starbucks on the front of its Companies & Markets section?

Here’s the lede:

A new commodity is set to be traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange from today - lattes.

In a further step in the evolution of what was once the epicentre of the global equity trading system, Starbucks is opening a concession among the trading screens.


We’re told this is part of a $7.5 million renovation, and that the NYSE is “replacing old cramped wooden cubicles with modern work stations.” In other news, I can report, according to sources, that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is getting some new vinyl wall base and maybe a new hot-dog cart.

This isn’t the first time a major financial newspaper has put a less-than-worthy Starbucks story on the front of its second section, which leads me to think journalists need to put down the crackpi… I mean, coffeepot (and I write this from The Audit’s Seattle bureau).

I got on The Wall Street Journal a year and a half ago for going B1 with the news that Starbucks was going to quit brewing decaf coffee in the afternoons. You could still get p.m. decaf, mind you, but you had to wait a whole four minutes for it to be whipped up.

I wrote then:

the Journal’s Marketplace section just is blah these days. Murdoch and his hand-picked ex-FT editor Robert Thomson seemingly are trying to imitate the FT’s Companies & Markets section, with its emphasis on narrow scoops that don’t say a whole lot.

Nailed it!

Actually, I think the FT went with the wrong angle here. Instead of

NYSE wakes up and smells the coffee with floor revamp

… it could have gone with “Starbucks to open store No. 17,148.”

The subhed, naturally: “Subway will sell sandwiches next door.”

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.