NEW YORK: Dow Jones' thirty-five-strong Bancroft clan (whose internecine strife and collective ineptitude, allowed Dow and its crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal, to fall into the maw of News Corporation) failed to meet a deadline for nominating their representative to the latter's board, it emerged yesterday.

According to a report in the WSJ (akin to a letter written just before walking the Green Mile): "So unruly were the talks that the family missed an initial 30-day deadline under which it was permitted to nominate its own candidate for NewsCorp's approval, thereby contractually ceding the choice to Dow Jones's prospective owner, NewsCorp chairman Rupert Murdoch."

During that period, the master-puppeteer deftly manipulated the family's strings, vetoing one candidate and parrying another by 'requesting' that it be a woman.

Said the family's lawyer Michael Elefante, a maestro of understatement: "I don't think we've distinguished ourselves in how we've handled this."

All were outwitted by the Wizard from Oz who, donning his movie mogul hat, pulled the showbiz stunt of 2007 by appointing the Bancroft of his choice: Natalie, a 27-year-old opera singer, resident in Europe, who confesses zilch knowledge either about journalism or commerce.

The last, rueful words, should rest with Bancroft family member Crawford Hill who wrote in an email to his kinfolk: "This entire, sad and pathetic, final episode is a fiasco. No wonder we lost Dow Jones!!"

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