OLD Media Moves

Editorial protections for WSJ could be announced Tuesday

June 25, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Sarah Ellison and Dennis Berman of The Wall Street Journal write for Tuesday’s paper that editorial protections for The Journal that would prevent potential owner Rupert Murdoch could be announced as soon as Tuesday, paving the way for Murdoch’s News Corp. to acquire Dow Jones & Co., the Journal’s parent.

The Wall Street JournalEllison and Berman wrote, “Neither side appeared to see the issues as big stumbling blocks, according to people on both sides of the negotiations. Yesterday afternoon, the two sides agreed on the outlines of a board to oversee issues of editorial independence, according to a person familiar with the matter. News Corp. had suggested a 16-member board to oversee editorial independence and other issues, which would have five independent members and 11 appointed by News Corp. Dow Jones had countered by requesting an entity solely focused on the editorial independence of Dow Jones.

“The two sides settled on a single board that would nominate its own replacements, but it wasn’t clear how many of its members would be independent or how large the board would be. Mr. Murdoch asked that none of the members have any connection to either News Corp. or to the Bancrofts or Dow Jones. Dow Jones appeared willing to accept that but wanted the members to choose their successors.

“Another issue Dow Jones hoped to address was funding for the special committee. The Dow Jones proposal indicated that an outside foundation and certain family trusts would provide funding for any eventual legal challenges on behalf of the special committee. News Corp. countered, in its proposal, that the special committee would have adequate funding for ‘travel and accommodations’ but didn’t address how the entity would be funded. The two sides appeared near an agreement on the issue yesterday evening.”

Read more here.

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