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Dow Jones makes headlines _ big ones, in Times Square

As Times Square pulsated with life Friday morning, the zipper that has flashed news overhead since 1928 went dead _ for a few seconds.

When it flashed back on, the electronic headline sign had a new operator.

Shortly after 10 a.m., Dow Jones & Co. Inc., publisher of the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones News Service, began providing the headlines on the zipper, which wraps around the building at One Times Square.

"Dow Jones, the global business news and information company, welcomes you to Times Square" was the first message flashed across the zipper's 12,400 bulbs by the new managers.

The headlines _ covering general, business and sports news _ will be provided around the clock by Dow Jones, the Associated Press and ESPN-SportsTicker.

The zipper will give viewers a roundup of the top news stories in approximately eight-minute cycles.

Among its first headlines Friday were the launching of an unfair-trade case against Japan, President Clinton's proposal to bar the sale of "cop-killer" bullets, and the death of Lana Turner.

The terms of the lease were not disclosed. The One Times Square building is owned by Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank.

British media giant Pearson PLC of London had been paying $14,000 a month to lease the zipper. Pearson dropped out earlier this year because it was unable to secure a long-term arrangement. The Tribune Co. continued to provide news to Lehman Brothers while a new operator was sought.

The zipper was initially operated by the New York Times and recently was run by Newsday for several years.