WSJ’s owners would have resisted sale to Murdoch
Key members of the family that controlled the Wall Street Journal say they would not have agreed to sell the prestigious daily to Rupert Murdoch if they had been aware of News International‘s conduct in the phone-hacking scandal at the time of the deal, reports Richard Tofel of ProPublica.
“Bancroft said the breadth of allegations now on the public record ‘would have been more problematic for me. I probably would have held out.” He had sole voting control of a trust that represented 13% of Dow Jones shares in 2007 and served on the Dow Jones board.
“Lisa Steele, another family member on the board, said ‘it would have been harder, if not impossible” to have accepted Murdoch’s bid had the facts been known. ‘It’s complicated,’ she added, and ‘there were so many factors’ in weighing a sale. But she said: ‘The ethics are clear to me – what’s been revealed, from what I’ve read in the Journal, is terrible. It may even be criminal.’
“Elisabeth Goth Chelberg, a Bancroft family member not on the board who had long advocated change at Dow Jones, expressed similar sentiments. Asked if she would have favoured a sale to Murdoch in 2007 knowing what she now does, she said: ‘My answer is no.'”
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