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Dow family takes second look at Murdoch

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jun 1, 2007

SCOTT JAGOW: Remember a few weeks ago when the owner of Fox News and MySpace.com made a bid for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal? The family that controls Dow Jones told Rupert Murdoch to bug off, basically. Well, they’ve changed their minds — the Bancrofts now say they’ll have a chat with Murdoch. Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Not all family members are in favor of a sale, but there’s now enough consensus to consider it. Media consultant Peter Kreisky is not surprised the Bancrofts have come around. He says thanks in part to input from the Dow Jones CEO, they’ve realized something:

PETER KREISKY: That Dow Jones can’t grow as much as an independent company as it could in partnership with a much larger organization. And I think the thing that’s really brought that home to them has been the merger announced last week between Thomson and Reuters.

Which, he says, raises the bar for the kinds of resources financial news companies need to compete. The Bancrofts are adamant they want to maintain the editorial integrity of The Wall Street Journal. Murdoch has promised them an independent board to oversee just that.

But, Kreisky says, price is of paramount importance. He says the family will press for more than the $60 a share Murdoch is currently offering.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

JAGOW: Investors love this change of heart — shares of Dow Jones shot up 14 percent this morning.

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