Skip to main content

The Dow of Murdoch: Rupert Murdoch Brings The Bancroft Family Together

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The family that controls 64% of the voting power of Dow Jones & Co is reportedly meeting right now to discuss News Corp’s bid for the company. David Faber of CNBC reported just a short while ago that the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones through its super-voting shares, was holding a conference call “right now” to discuss the bid. This may be a sign that the family is re-considering its rejection of the News Corp offer.
Today Bancroft family members received a letter from Rupert Murdoch stating that he regrets the details of the offer had become public and promising to establish an “independent, autonomous editorial board” to oversee the paper. In the letter, Murdoch describes himself as a “first and foremost…newspaper man,” praises the Wall Street Journal’s “journalistic independence and integrity” and says his is “unwilling to contemplate” any interference with the paper’s integrity. He writes that he would like to appoint a member of the Bancroft family to the board of Dow Jones.
“This letter may give the Bancroft’s a way to accept Murdoch gold , if that’s what they’re looking for,” an investment banker familiar with the deal told DealBreaker. “They’re haven’t been any other bidders, which must put pressure on them to accept this offer.”
Murdoch probably hopes that this is exactly what effect his letter will have. He’s steadfastly refused to offer more money than his original offer. Last week, CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino reported that he had been advised not to offer more by his bankers at JP Morgan had told him not to increase the bid. As we explained on Friday, Murdoch’s strategy to win over the Bancroft’s now appears to rely on charm and promises to not ruin the paper.
Murdoch also promises to make efforts to keep the team of “journalists, editors, management” of the Journal and other Dow Jones properties, expand the Journal in Europe and Asia and improve the Journal’s New York headquarters.
Text of Murdoch Letter to Bancrofts [Wall Street Journal]
News Corp & DJ Update []