OLD Media Moves

Bancrofts split on meeting with Murdoch

May 13, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Joshua Chaffin of The Financial Times writes that members of the Bancroft family that control Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, are divided about meeting with News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch to discuss his $5 billion bid for the company.

Rupert MurdochChaffin wrote, “Insiders say some of the 35-odd family members vehemently oppose selling to Mr Murdoch at any price. They believe he would harm the journalistic integrity of an institution their family has jealously guarded for more than a century.

“However, others have expressed a willingness to at least hear Mr Murdoch’s pitch. ‘There are a lot of different scenarios out there. You never say no. You can explore things,’ one Bancroft told the Financial Times, adding that there was an ongoing discussion among the clan about doing so.

“About 80 per cent of the Bancrofts’ Class B shares, which are held in a series of trusts, voted against Mr Murdoch’s first offer. The Bancrofts do not have to vote as a block, raising the possibility that Mr Murdoch could sway enough members to prevail.

“Some Bancrofts who support meeting Mr Murdoch think Dow Jones’s lagging performance strained the trusts’ ability to support future generations. Yet they also expressed misgivings about Mr Murdoch and worried that meeting him could be seen as a sign that they are set to sell.”

Read more here.

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