Dennis Berman, Matt Karnitschnig and Susan Pulliam of The Wall Street Journal wrote Friday that News Corp. plans to shmooze members of the Bancroft family as well as the journalists at TheÂ Journal in an attempt to convince both that its proposed $5 billion deal for Dow Jones & Co. would work.
The reporters wrote, “The media conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch is considering making its case to journalists detailing the company’s plans for capital investment, people close to News Corp. say. News Corp. would address a number of issues in its discussion, such as beefing up staffing levels in international news bureaus and putting more capital behind the company’s electronic properties, said one person close to News Corp. The plans to talk to journalists are preliminary, this person said, but would be aimed at fostering ‘recognition and desire about having a dialogue with a very important constituency’ in Mr. Murdoch’s takeover attempt.
“Any campaign would be structured to win over both the Bancroft family and the company’s reporters and editors, some of whom have begun agitating against the $60-a-share takeover bid from News Corp. and its chief, Mr. Murdoch. The Bancroft family, which controls 64.2% of Dow Jones’s voting power, is opposing News Corp.’s $5 billion bid. The family has said that members accounting for more than 50% of the overall voting power oppose the deal.
“News Corp.’s strategic efforts came as a group of Journal reporters yesterday urged the newspaper’s journalists to write individual letters opposing Mr. Murdoch’s offer to the three Bancroft family members on the Dow Jones board. Paul E. Steiger, the Journal’s managing editor, said that any journalists who wrote letters advocating opposition to the offer wouldn’t be involved in the coverage of News Corp.’s bid.”
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