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My Two Cents

Murdoch’s bid for WSJ

Chris Farrell May 2, 2007

Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Dow Jones (parent company of the Wall Street Journal) is a classic for him: Audacious and savvy. The offering price is high enough that the controlling Bancroft family is taking it seriously.

I hope the Bancroft’s just say no. The signs are that they will turn Murdoch down. I’d like them to stay independent because the WSJ is the best newspaper in the world. Why mess with a formula that is working so well. The new editorial and management team in place at the Journal should have time to put their own stamp on the paper, online and offline.

However, I don’t think a Rupert Murdoch run Dow Jones would be bad–so long as he is in charge. The real question is what happens when he steps down, and that is coming for the 76 year old media baron. Murdoch is News Corp., and he doesn’t have an heir apparent that’s up to the job of running his empire. Of course, if that’s the case, is Murdoch bidding $5 billion to 1) acquire the best newspaper in the world and 2) buy a young Dow Jones management/editorial team that he believes could step in and run News Corp. when it comes time for him to step down?

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