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Murdoch Bid to Take Over Dow Jones May Be DOA

Reported by Marie Therese - May 21, 2007 -

Neil Cavuto just announced that Rupert Murdoch's over-the-top offer to purchase Dow Jones from the Bancroft family may be failing. During the FOX Stox segment, Cavuto said "Shares of Dow Jones dropping four percent. An industry watcher saying the Dow Jones is not a 'must have' for News Corp - that's the parent of this network - and that News Corp may scrap its $5 billion offer and leave Dow Jones to fend for itself." The report appeared in a Reuters article. The analyst who made this suggestion is Richard Greenfield of Pali Capital.

"We believe News Corp. is increasingly frustrated with the Bancroft family," Pali Capital analyst Richard Greenfield wrote. "Given no apparent desire by Dow Jones's controlling shareholders to negotiate, News Corp. is left with little choice other than to walk away from Dow Jones (for now)."

Greenfield wrote that News Corp. might say it is backing off its plan to buy Dow Jones in the next couple of weeks.

"While there is strategic merit to a (News Corp.) acquisition of Dow Jones, it is not a 'must-have' for News Corp.," he said.


Murdoch has said in published reports that he wants to meet the Bancrofts as well as employees at The Wall Street Journal. Both groups have said they oppose Murdoch's bid for fear it would damage the editorial integrity of the paper.

In the meantime, financial analysts and other experts have tried to predict what Murdoch will do. Benchmark Co. analyst Edward Atorino believes that Murdoch will raise his bid.


We can only hope that Mr. Greenfield's analysis is the correct one. No one wants to see the Wall Street Journal turned into a tabloid, tethered to daily memos and one single corporation's point of view.