Media Moves

GE/Pearson bid for Dow Jones makes no sense journalistically

June 18, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Jonathan Berr writes on that the talk about GE subsidiary CNBC and Pearson subsidiary The Financial Times teaming up to make a bid for Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, makes no sense financially or from a journalistic point of view.

Berr wrote, “Moreover, this would be a bear to manage. Running a news operation is like herding cats on a good day. Running three organizations (CNBC, The Journal and the FT) each competing for the same audience and the same stories would be Byzantine in complexity. There also would be epic bureaucratic turf wars since both companies would have equal say in managing the company. I suspect allowing the Bancrofts to continue to have a say the venture’s affairs would create an additional set of headaches.

“Since it’s obvious that the GE-Pearson deal won’t happen, why are people still trying to talk it up? My hunch is that the chatter is coming from across the Atlantic. Pearson is under pressure from its shareholders to dump the FT and focus on higher-growth businesses such as textbooks. General Electric would probably be keen on the idea of having Dow Jones as a buffer against the nascent Fox Business Channel.

“Regardless, Dow Jones is just a business to both companies. For Murdoch, it’s an object of lust. At the end of the day, emotion will trump logic.”

Read more here.

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