Did Rupert Murdoch 'Stepford' The Bancrofts

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The only news that really come out of yesterday’s big meeting between Rupert Murdoch and the Bancroft family was metaphorical: a storm was soaking New York as Rupert went into the black tower where the conference took place and the skies were merely overcast when emerged five hours later. We’re not sure if that means anything but it would be better if it did.
Perhaps more telling than the meteorological metaphors made possible by the passing precipitation was that the Bancroft’s emerged from the meeting sounding exactly like Murdoch.
“We had a very long, constructive meeting, and we've both gone away to consider both sides,” Murdoch said in a brief interview with Bloomberg.
Later, the Bancrofts issued a statement through spokesman Roy Winnick:“The parties had a constructive dialog and have gone back to consider our positions.”
In case you missed it—the message is that the meeting was constructive!
If the first step in a negotiation is learning to speak the same language, then it looks like there was a lot of progress yesterday. Both Murdoch and the Bancrofts are talking to the public using the same phrases, apparently agreed to in the meeting.
“It shows Murdoch’s strength as a deal maker,” an M&A specialist we spoke to said. “Agreeing to the language of a statement may be a prelude to an agreement about the sale of Dow Jones. The cliché is 'getting to yes,' and then staying there. Murdoch seems to have the Bancrofts saying yes already.”
A former private equity buyout professional had an even more colorful way of describing the process of turning a hostile counterpart in a negotiation into a willing partner. "We used to call this the process of 'Stepfording' the other side," he said. The phrase referred to a movie in which wives were reprogrammed into being compliant housewives.

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