New US financial daily prepares for debut

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Granted, a voracious appetite for business and financial news among the reading public supports the most successful journals in the country. But is there room for another national daily business newspaper?

William O'Neil & Co. in Los Angeles is betting that there is.

This investment research and publishing company plans to bring out a new financial newspaper, Investor's Daily, early in 1984.

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The new gazette will be vying for a corner of the market tough to win, one now amply occupied by the Wall Street Journal, the largest circulating daily newspaper in the United States.

Bruce Thorp, a print media industry analyst with Lynch, Jones & Ryan, says of the paper's prospects, ''It's going to be an uphill battle.'' But not an impossible one, he adds.

Business news has become increasingly popular reading in recent years. Local newspapers have given more space to economic news, notes Mr. Thorp, and another national newspaper venture this year, USA Today, places heavy emphasis on business coverage.

''I would say that the market is not yet saturated,'' he avers, and pauses: ''We'll soon find out.''

The readers that Investor's Daily wants to entice are among the upper ranks of corporate leadership, institutional investors, and investors generally. William O'Neil, president of the company, says that if his paper has a special advantage over other publications, including the Wall Street Journal, it will be in what the parent company knows about the stock market.

William O'Neil & Co., privately owned and some 20 years old, has compiled the computerized histories of more than 7,500 securities - claiming the most extensive computer research capacity in the industry.

How this data bank will give the newspaper an edge with readers is not yet clear. For competitive reasons, Mr. O'Neil is not discussing the features the paper will present.

He has hired editorial and advertising staff from virtually all the nation's major business publications. The company already has on hand the electronic equipment to produce the paper; it's now used to publish the firm's weekly O'Neil Database books.

At the start, 30,000 copies of the new newspaper will be circulated in 11 Western states and New York City.

Eventually, Mr. O'Neil plans on same-day distribution in Boston, Washington, and other Eastern cities. He expects the project - which he says will need no outside capital at all - to be profitable in 18 months.

''In this country,'' he says, ''if you provide a quality product, . . . then people will buy it.

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