OLD Media Moves

Bancrofts will allow board to negotiate if Murdoch agrees to oversight of WSJ

June 13, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

The Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, will allow the company’s board to negotiate a deal with News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch if he agrees to an editorial oversight board of the paper that will prevent him from meddling in its content, reports Frank Ahrens of The Washington Post.

Ahrens wrote, “As early as today, the 35-member, three-generation Bancroft family plans to send a proposal to Murdoch’s News Corp. that outlines requirements for a buffer guaranteeing that the Pulitzer Prize-winning Journal could continue to conduct reporting that is sometimes critical of Murdoch’s media empire and business interests, the source said. The plan to send a proposal was reported in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

“If Murdoch agrees to the terms of the proposal, the Bancrofts plan to tell the rest of the board that their concerns about editorial independence have been satisfied. The Bancrofts have four seats on the 16-member Dow Jones board and control 64 percent of the company’s voting stock.

“The Bancrofts would then give the rest of the board the chance to review the structure of the proposed editorial buffer and permission to begin formal negotiations with News Corp. for its purchase of Dow Jones, the source said. News Corp. had no immediate comment yesterday.”

Read more here.

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