Dow Jones Denies Done Deal With Murdoch

09 July 2007

  • NEWS FLASH Monday 0815 GMT...
    Despite rumors floated on The Business website and excitedly recirculated by other media over the weekend, no deal has yet been struck between Dow Jones' controlling Bancroft family and News Corporation.

    According to a Dow spokesman, talks with NewsCorp over its $5 billion (€3.7bn; £2.5bn) bid are "progressing" but no agreement has been reached.

    Although the two sides have thrashed-out a basic agreement on safeguarding the editorial independence of The Wall Street Journal should a sale take place (see below), other issues such as price are far from resolved.

    The weekend rumor was peddled online by Andrew Neil, for eleven years editor of Rupert Murdoch's UK voice, The Sunday Times, and now an executive of the Press Holdings group of newspapers owned by the secretive Barclay twin brothers.

    In the wake of the rumor, a Bancroft spokesman announced: "I am reliably informed that there is no change in the status of the discussions currently under way. News Corp is continuing to conduct due diligence and the negotiations are not complete."

    Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff


    NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion (£2.5bn; €3.7bn) takeover of Dow Jones and its flagship title the Wall Street Journal has moved one step closer after three senior figures at the newspaper signified their initial support for proposals aimed at ensuring the newspaper's editorial independence.

    Under the agreement between Dow Jones and Murdoch's News Corporation, managing editor Marcus Brauchli, opinion page editor Paul Gigot and newswires editor Neal Lipschutz would retain their positions in the event of a takeover.

    They would also control "spending and allocation of resources within budgets set by News Corp management", and could only be dismissed by a committee chosen jointly by Dow Jones and News Corp, which would also resolve any disputes.

    A statement issued by the three praised "the Murdoch family and their colleagues at News Corp" for their efforts to affirm the "principles of journalistic independence".

    However, the Bancroft family, the long-time driving force behind Dow Jones - and its ultimate controllers - has yet to approve the proposals.

    It was reported by the WSJ last week that many of the family "distrust Mr Murdoch and his track record at other publications, for example at The Times of London, where he hired, then fired, the top editor shortly after taking over in 1981".

    Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff