Murdoch and the WSJ

Open letter to the Bancroft family:

Don't Do It!!!!

Sincerely, a long-time WSJ subscriber.

Toles Wsj Murdoch 07182007

Dow Jones Board Reaches Deal With Murdoch - New York Times:
It’s now down to the Bancrofts.

After months of back-and-forth negotiations, the board of Dow Jones voted last night in favor of recommending a tentative deal to sell the publisher of The Wall Street Journal for $5 billion to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.

The final decision will be made by Dow Jones’s fractious controlling family, the Bancrofts, which could still seek to scuttle the sale, people who have spoken with family members said. That point was underscored by the fact that two of the four Bancroft family members on the board did not take part in the vote.

Several of the Bancrofts have expressed their disapproval of selling to Mr. Murdoch, fearing that he would bend news coverage to further his political or business interests. And two family members on the board, Christopher Bancroft and Leslie Hill, have been actively seeking alternative bids. According to an adviser briefed on the meeting last night at which the offer was weighted, Mr. Bancroft left the meeting early, before the vote. Ms. Hill stayed but abstained from voting.

A third director, Dieter von Holtzbrinck, who attended the meeting by conference call from Europe, did not stay on the line long enough to vote, the adviser said. The company’s 13 other directors, including two other Bancroft representatives and the chief executive, Richard F. Zannino, voted in favor.

and sounds like Al Gore (and Hillary Clinton) have decided to curry favor with Murdoch even before the deal is done:

Mr. Murdoch’s potential stewardship of The Journal gained an unlikely endorsement yesterday, given both his and The Journal’s traditionally conservative politics.

In an interview, former Vice President Al Gore defended Mr. Murdoch as someone who supports independent voices and keeps his word. Mr. Gore was referring to his own experience negotiating a contract to carry Current TV, a cable channel he helped found.

Mr. Gore, who has spoken out against media consolidation by conglomerates like the News Corporation in the past, said that he was mainly concerned with ownership of broadcast outlets. “That’s an issue — but on the question of his openness to independent points of view, I want you to know that my experience has been that when he gave his word, he kept his word.”

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 18, 2007 10:51 AM.

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