OLD Media Moves

Why Murdoch may be the perfect owner for The Wall Street Journal

May 5, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in the New York Times for Sunday — but already available online Saturday afternoon — that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch may be the perfect owner for the Wall Street Journal.

News Corp. made a $5 billion offer to acquire Dow Jones & Co., the parent of the Journal, Barron’s and Marketwatch, two weeks ago. It became public this week.

Rupert MurdochSorkin wrote, “Mr. Murdoch spoke enthusiastically about opening new bureaus and expanding others. He wants to reverse The Journal’s diminished international strategy by investing heavily in the paper in Europe and Asia. He says he is spoiling for a fight with The Financial Times, in much the same way that he took the left-for-dead Times of London and made it a real competitor to The Telegraph. He talked about spending money on marketing and on greatly expanding The Journal’s brand online, leveraging the many media businesses he owns around the world.

“The Bancrofts — like the Grahams, who own The Washington Post, and the Sulzbergers, who own this newspaper — are part of an important, even noble, tradition: family ownership of media enterprises dedicated to probing, sophisticated coverage of the world around them. Mr. Murdoch, for the most part, is part of a different journalistic tradition: sensationalism. So the Bancrofts, on journalistic grounds, have good reason to be wary of Mr. Murdoch.

“Mr. Murdoch is also part of another tradition: farsighted, creative and risky business gambits. He has made piles of money by thinking ahead of many of his competitors. The Bancrofts have presided over a company that once held a dominant position in business journalism, and they let that lead, and the financial gains that came with it, slip through their hands.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.