Von Drehle wrote, “If Murdoch wins Dow Jones, it won’t be because he’s evil. It will be the result of decades of mismanagement of one of the world’s great sources of news and analysis. All the Journal‘s Pulitzer Prizes can’t mask the fact that, while demand for high-quality financial and political news exploded, the value of America’s leading business newspaper first sank, then stagnated.
“Wall Street’s judgment on Dow Jones ownership is pitiless. Investors in Murdoch’s News Corporation hardly batted an eye when the old man bid $60 a share for a company that has been south of $40 a share for years. That enormous premium is the financial community’s rough measure of the value of new management.
“The litany of Dow Jones stumbles and fumbles is well-known. As the hands-off Bancrofts watched from a distance, the company failed to move nimbly into the digital age. A single able entrepreneur, Michael Bloomberg, captured the desktop financial analysis business as Dow Jones dawdled. Meanwhile, a newspaper with huge circulation (over two million) and a relatively small staff (half the size of the Los Angeles Times) for some reason lagged the industry in profitability.”
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