Dow Jones: For Whom the Bell Tolls

14 December 2007

NEW YORK: Dow Jones shareholders met Thursday in Manhattan to vote on the sale of their company and the jewel in its crown to News Corporation. At $60 per share it was an offer they couldn't refuse and the outcome of the vote was never in doubt.

New ceo Leslie Hinton and Wall Street Journal publisher Robert Thomson are expected to assume their posts at Dow Jones's headquarters today (Friday), moving through the revolving door as former ceo Richard F Zannino exits.

Following the vote that sealed the deal for once and all, Rupert Murdoch ladled-out the reassurances to Dow's understandably apprehensive staff.

"Change is often difficult or creates nervousness," he soothed, but "we know and understand the tremendous values of Dow Jones and, particularly, of course, of The Wall Street Journal and the very high bar you have set yourselves. If anything, you will find us trying to set a higher bar."

In the deal's wake, an air of triumphalism is evident in NewsCorp's 'Ain't we the greatest' ad splashed across the pages of rival newspapers.

Meantime, fans of cartoonist Charles Addams will appreciate the news that Murdoch attended an annual holiday lunch for Dow Jones executives on Wednesday. He wore a Santa cap.

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