Another Dow Jones Contender Enters the Bid Arena

08 June 2007

NEW YORK: Editorial staff at the Wall Street Journal may be heartened by reports that US PR and advertising executive Brian Tierney is mulling a possible bid for parent company Dow Jones, currently the principal object of desire for media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Tierney (pictured above) led a private equity consortium last year that bought two Philadelphia newspapers for $515 million (€381m; £258.5m).

But that deal was small beer compared with the $5 billion Murdoch's News Corporation has waved before Dow Jones' controlling dynasty, the Bancrofts.

Tierney, ceo of Philadelphia Media Holdings, concedes his company would not make a solo bid but insists: "If there was an explicit process we would be inclined to participate in conjunction with others."

His acquisition of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News has led to cost cutting and conflict with labor unions but he has reversed a circulation decline at the former title.

Journalists at the WSJ are nervous that a NewsCorp takeover might compromise the editorial integrity of their newspaper. The Bancroft family, which has had "constructive" talks with Murdoch, is still mulling his bid and his assurances.

There are other potential investors limbering up on the sidelines. Former supermarket magnate Ron Burkle is working on an offer with the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees union, which says it has also has been in touch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Data sourced from Washington Post Online; additional information by WARC staff