Media Moves

Mr. Murdoch will be on his best behavior

June 3, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

David Carr of The New York Times writes for Monday’s paper about the charm and manners that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will be putting on later in the day when he meets with the Bancroft family in an attempt to convince them to sell Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, to him.

Rupert Murdoch and WSJCarr wrote, “Mr. Murdoch will pass the horns-and-tail test with ease. Anybody who has met him can testify to his easy and substantial personal charm. (Wouldn’t you just kill to watch Mr. Murdoch put on the hula skirt and coconuts and dance his way into the hearts of the Bancrofts?)

“Mr. Murdoch will reiterate his love of newspapers, perhaps not mentioning that it ranks a bit behind his lust for power. Trust one of the world’s most artful deal makers to evince a wholesale grasp of the newspaper’s importance and a retail grasp of individual family concerns. As the head of a diversified media concern, he will speak with a great deal of insight and portentousness about the challenge posed by the Thomson/Reuters merger.

“And most critically, there will be a vow of chastity and fealty to the newspaper’s editorial independence, perhaps even dropping retired editor Paul E. Steiger’s name as a suitable head of an editorial board that will serve as an in-house Church Lady.

“‘Rupert Murdoch, of all people, knows what to do. He is quite worldly,’ said Letitia Baldrige, a longtime arbiter of social and business graces. ‘It is a bit of a social ballet, but the outcome is hardly in doubt. The family would not agree to see him unless they were capitulating. Now they just have much face to save in front of family, friends, employees and the public.””

Read more here.

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