Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dow Jones board offered union-supported alternatives to a Murdoch takeover

Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle and Internet entrepreneur Brad Greenspan teamed up Tuesday in New York to offer Dow Jones board members alternative possibilities that could leave the Bancroft family in charge of the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and provide new money to invest.

From today's Los Angeles Times

"This is about sitting down and saying there is some real money on the table, let's explore the possibilities," said (Newspaper Guild local) President Steve Yount.

The plan could allow some members of the Bancroft family to cash out and others to maintain control of the newspaper they inherited. "If the Bancroft family wants to remain stewards of Dow Jones, then that is available," Yount said.


The union is attempting to capitalize on the unease that some of the 35 adult Bancrofts feel about selling to Murdoch the leading U.S. business publication, which trails only USA Today in daily circulation. Former employees have repeatedly accused Murdoch of using the news content in his papers to promote his business agenda and conservative political views.

The five-member Dow Jones committee has agreed with News Corp. on most of a plan designed to keep Murdoch at arm's length from the Journal's newsroom, but many reporters and editors remain skeptical.
Early last month the union reached out to Ron Burkle (among others) in hopes they could serve as partners in the union's effort to maintain the editorial independence of Dow Jones & Company and preserve the unquestioned journalistic integrity of all of its publications and products. (end of post)

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