OLD Media Moves

Steiger preferred Wall Street Journal remain independent

August 4, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Former Wall Street Journal managing editor Paul Steiger, who was criticized for not speaking out against News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch‘s offer to buy the paper’s parent company, Dow Jones & Co., said at the Asian American Journalists Association annual meeting that he was conflicted, but felt he needed to keep quiet.

Paul SteigerSan Jose Mercury News business columnist Vindu Goel wrote, “Despite pressure on Steiger to publicly oppose the deal as the Journal’s elder statesman, he said he didn’t speak out for several reasons. Given his deep involvement in coverage of the deal, any public comments would have been ‘totally inappropriate.’

“In addition, he said, ‘I just wasn’t convinced that acquisition by Rupert Murdoch was the worst outcome.’

“Indeed, Dow Jones didn’t have much choice. ‘Really, the only alternative to Rupert was to go it alone.’

“‘That was always my preferred alternative,’ Steiger said. But once Murdoch made his offer public and the controlling Bancroft family announced that it would entertain bids for the company, ‘the toothpaste was out of the tube.'”

Read more here.

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