Support Marketplace

Murdoch's empire grows

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch leaves the News Corp offices in New York yesterday after The Wall Street Journal reported that he appeared to have won enough backing from members of the Bancroft family and a family trust to secure a takeover of Dow Jones & Co.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Rupert Murdoch and Dow Jones made it official this morning. Murdoch's News Corp will buy Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal for $5.6 billion. Murdoch adds the Journal to his media portfolio of Fox News, MySpace, HarperCollins, the Times of London. But it didn't come easy, especially for the Bancroft family. They were deeply divided over giving up a newspaper that's been in the family for generations. And this deal has prompted reaction around the world. Stephen Beard has more from London.


Stephen Beard: Murdoch pulled off this coup with a last-minute maneuver.

He won support of enough members of the Bancroft family which controls Dow Jones. He apparently offered to pick up the tab for their legal fees, some $30 million. That reportedly swung some key members of the family into the Murdoch camp.

The Bancrofts have been deeply divided over the deal. Some fear the tycoon could interfere with the Journal's editorial independence.

But that fear is unfounded claims Adrian Monck, a former Murdoch employee, now a professor of journalism at the City University in London.

Adrian Monck: He appreciates what's important about business news and what's important about business news is its trust and reliability and those factors mean the independence is valuable. So he understands that.

Nevertheless one member of the Bancroft family, Leslie Hill, resigned from the Dow board in protest yesterday.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...