OLD Media Moves

Bancrofts want to protect WSJ ME and publisher

June 14, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones & Co. wants News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch to agree to a proposal that will protect both The Wall Street Journal‘s managing editor and its publisher from his influence before they will negotiate with him, according to a story in Thursday’s Journal by Sarah Ellison.

Rupert MurdochEllison wrote, “The family’s proposal appears to go beyond the structure adopted by the Times of London and the Sunday Times, which News Corp. purchased in early 1981, these people said. That structure is viewed by many as having been ineffective at preventing Mr. Murdoch from intervening in the papers’ editorial ranks.

“Importantly, the family’s proposal may seek to protect not only the Journal’s managing editor from interference from News Corp., but its publisher as well. That would mean News Corp. would have to agree to give up control over some of the budgetary decisions at the Journal and Dow Jones. So far, News Corp. has seemed unwilling to accept provisions that would curb its ability to run the business side of Dow Jones.

“In addition, the family is expected to continue to press for limits on News Corp.’s ability to use Dow Jones’s brands. Given Mr. Murdoch’s expressed desire to leverage Dow Jones’s brands in his other media outlets, most importantly a new business channel News Corp. is planning to launch, he seems unlikely to accede to this condition. The proposal also could include language that would allow for legal recourse should the internal controls fail.”

Read more here.

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