Media Moves

Dow Jones chairman becomes important player

June 5, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Sarah Ellison and Laurie Cohen of The Wall Street Journal write for Wednesday’s paper about Dow Jones & Co. chairman M. Peter McPherson, who took on the position just a month ago, and how he’s becoming an important bridge between the board and Bancroft family members that control the company, the newspaper’s parent, as it weighs whether to sell itself to News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

Peter McPhersonEllison and Cohen write, “Some of the board’s 11 independent directors have concluded that a sale should be consummated quickly, and that an effort to get a price higher than the $60 a share that News Corp. has offered — only by a few dollars a share — should be part of the effort.

“Mr. McPherson, though, seems less in a hurry. At Monday’s meeting with Mr. Murdoch, he refused to accept the News Corp. chairman’s proposals for an independent editorial board and pushed, along with the family representatives, for further negotiation, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McPherson couldn’t be reached yesterday evening.

“Mr. McPherson briefed Dow Jones’s top management and some directors Monday evening after the meeting, and he gave a full report on the session to an ad hoc committee of directors yesterday afternoon. The two sides have yet to schedule a new meeting but they will likely reconvene in some form this week or next, according to people close to the situation. As of late yesterday, the family board members had yet to brief their relatives on the Monday meeting. The family’s advisers are working on revising their proposals for an independent editorial board for the next round of negotiations with Mr. Murdoch, according to those people.”

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