Murdoch as the big, bad wolf
New York Times media columnist David Carr sits back and takes a look at what might happen between News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and the Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones & Co. in his Monday column, available online Sunday night.
Last week, Murdoch made a $5 billion offer for Dow Jones, which owns The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Marketwatch. The majority of Bancrofts have said they would vote against such a deal.
Carr wrote, “For the time being, Mr. Murdochâ€™s task is a retail one, persuading the family to meet with him in a kind of creeping tender offer. Until he can tell rather than ask, he will assure them that his reputation as a meddler in newspapers is vastly overstated. He went so far as to suggest that an independent editorial board might be just the thing to calm jangled nerves.
“Heâ€™ll need to do some soothing of the newsroom, too. ‘Everyone here is trying to do their jobs from under the ton of bricks that just landed on them,’ one reporter said on Friday.
“If members of the Bancroft family, who are the controlling shareholders of Dow Jones, end up doing business with Mr. Murdoch, it will be less Little Red Riding Hood â€” ‘My what large share prices you have, Mr. Murdoch!’ â€” than a proud family succumbing to the laws of the jungle. With share prices sinking in a struggling business, outside stockholders with their lawyers on speed-dial, and no other exit in sight, $5 billion has a nice, solid ring to it.”
Read more here.