Murdoch Buyout of Dow Jones May Be Done Deal

WIRED News is reporting:

UK Tip: Murdoch To Seal Wall Street Journal Deal Next Week
By Adario Strange
July 06, 2007 | 10:18:49 AM

UK magazine The Business claims that Rupert Murdoch will announce his completed purchase of Dow Jones, parent company of The Wall Street Journal, next week. The buyout price is said to be around $5 billion and will have to pass full review from the Dow Jones board and members of the Bancroft family. If completed, this deal would send shockwaves throughout the media industry.

OK: this is merely an unsubstantiated report of questionable veracity but, for the sake of argument, presume it to be true.

Yes. This would be scary. But, after what was seen in its editorial pages on July 4 (and, frankly, most days), there won’t be any difference in tone, unless it’s to tone down the rabid tone of the WSJ editorial pages.

Here’s the original, EXCLUSIVE from The Business (“London’s First Global Business Magazine,” i.e. hungry):

EXCLUSIVE: Rupert Murdoch buys Dow Jones, owners of the Wall Street Journal
By : Andrew Neil and James Forsyth

8 comments posted for this article

6:30 PM (London time) Update: Rupert Murdoch has succeeded with his $5 billion bid for Dow Jones. Negotiations are now complete and a formal announcement is expected next week.

Rupert Murdoch has succeeded with his $5 billion bid for Dow Jones, owners of the Wall Street Journal, according to sources acting for the Dow Jones board. Negotiations on price and matters of principle have been completed, though some details remain to be resolved. None is regarded by either side as a deal-breaker.

The Dow board is confident that the terms of the deal will be accepted by the Bancroft family, which controls a majority of voting shares in Dow Jones, over the next few working days. A formal announcement is expected next week….

However, here is comment #1:

This story in incorrect. We have sent out a statement to that effect. Linda Dunbar Vice President, Corporate Communications Dow Jones
posted by Linda Dunbar on 06/07/2007

But, I wonder….

Given Murdoch’s insistence on “jazzing up” anything he gets his hands on (consider Fox Sports’ loud graphic and statistics intensive coverage of NFL games), one wonders what would happen to the hoary (and its phonetic synonym) Wall Street Journal, and the Dow Jones Index? Perhaps Page 3 girls in the stocks listings. Hey, it worked for Murdoch when he decided to introduce topless models on page 3 of his first British paper. T’were the profits from that “journalistic” innovation that fueled the purchase of the Times of London. And, later, Fox Studios, etc.

Because we KNOW from the purchase by Murdoch of the Times of London that he made similar promises not to mess with the editorial content of the Times, and, once the purchase was in place, ignored the promises.

I like to remember that it was the Rupert Murdoch-founded STAR (created to compete with THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER and sold to the ENQUIRER in the late 1980s) that “broke” the Gennifer Flowers sex with Clinton back in 1992, seemingly in an attempt to kill the Clinton candidacy (didn’t work) but which broke the firewall between tabloid trash news and “serious” news, which has culminated in such monstrousities as Fox Nooz Morning and The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

Come to think of it, it was the STAR that broke the story of Dick Morris’ toesucking with a prostitute that forced Morris’ resignation from his position as a Clinton reelection campaign advisor in August of 1996, and he now works for MediaMax and Faux Nooz, attacking the Clintons … which was sort of the same purpose of the STAR piece that got him fired in the first place. (Morris, who is Jewish, converted to being “a devout Catholic” reportedly as a means of returning to his wife’s good graces after the hooker incident. She cowrites his Clinton attack books.)

The Wall Street Journal is the second largest circulation newspaper in the United States, behind USA TODAY and ahead of THE NEW YORK TIMES. One might speculate that this is an attempt to crush the NYT between the NEW YORK POST (which he owns) and the WSJ.

Were one to wish to put a bug in the ear of the family stockholders, one might note what happened to Ted Turner after he sold his Turner Broadcasting empire to TIME/Warner:

Turner got to sit on the board, his vote always in the minority. He donated stock to the UN for charity, and vanished from the “movers and shakers” scene — which he may regret. Whatever prestige/power the family had will vanish the second they turn over the business to Murdoch, but one doubts that they will notice that until after they sign the papers.

One, increasingly, gets the feeling that Rupert Murdoch’s last utterance will be “Rosebud.”


Bookmark and Share

About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
Bookmark the permalink.