Dow Jones Dynasty Seeks Tough Safeguards for WSJ

13 June 2007

NEW YORK: The Bancroft dynasty that controls finance and business publisher Dow Jones says it can only continue acquisition talks with media mogul Rupert Murdoch if formal safeguards are agreed for the editorial independence of its crown jewel, the Wall Street Journal.

The family says once such proposals have been put in place, it can turn its attention to discussing the $5 billion (€3.72bn; £2.53bn) offer from the News Corporation empire.

There are concerns among the Bancrofts and the newspaper's staff that journalistic integrity could be threatened under Murdoch ownership.

They want a tougher system than the one in place in London which covers the NewsCorp-owned Times and Sunday Times and ostensibly gives extra powers to independent directors on the papers' board to protect the editors from interference by the owners.

The family has talked about creating a system through which the Dow Jones board would have a public way to air disagreements with NewsCorp and would have the power to hire and fire the managing editor of the WSJ.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff