OLD Media Moves

Cramer: Dow Jones board should take bid or resign

May 3, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

TheStreet.com’s Jim Cramer writes Thursday morning that the Dow Jones & Co. outside board members are all current or former executives of other companies who know something about creating shareholder value and thus should take the $5 billion offer from News Corp. to sell the owner of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Marketwatch.

Jim CramerCramer wrote, “The business people on this board were not brought on to rubber-stamp the Bancroft family’s wishes. The old board, the one I confronted 10 years ago about Dow Jones’ profitability when I had amassed 4% of the company, was a sinecure board. Don’t believe me? Go ask MFP Investors’ Michael Price, the legendary creator of value who was given the back of the hand by the old board.

“This board is going to be very worried about being sued. These members are going to be very worried about why they are even on the board if they can’t think about bringing out shareholder value. They are not on the board to protect the newsroom. They are on the board to assess whether Dow Jones can get to $60 on its own at some time in the future without the Murdoch bid. If they can’t opine on the bid, they know they are a sham board, and these are not sham people.

“I believe that these board members are going to have to support this bid. I think they are going to pressure the Bancroft family — which is no longer intransigent — to take a higher deal or they will have to resign en masse and reveal the charade that is dual classes of stock. I also believe that they will be able to convince a couple of Bancrofts, and that will be enough to do the job.”

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