Is Rupert Murdoch Losing Faith In His Dow Jones Bid?

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At last night's Alexander Hamilton dinner in midtown, Rupert Murdoch told a joke to the audience assembled by the Manhattan Institute. "Two rich guys walk into the Wall Street Journal," Rupert began. This got a big laugh and Rupert then professed to have forgotten the rest of the joke.
The incomplete joke was the perfect metaphor for News Corp's bid for Dow Jones & Co, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal. The bid hasn't gone anywhere since the first day, sitting out there in a sort of deal limbo as Murdoch lobbies the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones through its super-voting Class B shares, to at least meet with him ad listen to his proposal. But that hasn't stopped anyone from talking about it.
Murdoch may be cracking jokes in public but in private he has conveyed a different mood to his associates. A close advisor to Murdoch has said he may be losing confidence that he will prevail. Many observers of the deal, including David Carr of the New York Times, believe that Murdoch will eventually succeed in his attempt to acquire Dow Jones. But Murdoch himself may not be so confident these days, according someone familiar with Murdoch's current thinking. The advisor said that Murdoch has expressed doubts about his ability to acquire the company in the face of continued opposition from the Bancrofts. The advisor went on to say that it is possible that this is a pose--that Murdoch is lowering expectations, as they say in politics.

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