Slightly quiet on the "Rupert Murdoch craves Dow Jones" front. Still, today we learn that editors at the Wall Street Journal knew of the bid at least a week before it came out, but said nothing, and were thus beaten to the story by CNBC. The decision to sit on the story, says the Times "raises a nettlesome issue for the media: What are a news organization's obligations to report important market-moving news about itself or its parent company before the news is officially disclosed?" Ooh, nettlesome. Harsh words! Better—perhaps someone took advantage of the information for some money-making trading! Hello, SEC!
Peter Kann, former Dow Jones chairman and CEO, sent a letter to the Bancroft family praising them for opposing the bid. His rationale: "I thought it is important for some of us who believe in the independence of the company to thank the Bancrofts and the Ottaways for what they are doing, and maybe to try to provide some more support for the positions they are taking."
In TV Week, Fox News architect and Murdoch confidant Roger Ailes says don't bet against the boss: "I've never seen him not want to win. There's no reason to believe he's going to take business news lightly. He sets a pretty high bar and people generally underestimate him in a kind of strange way. They say, 'Well, a business channel,' and then suddenly he makes a play for Dow Jones. He's full of surprises, and it shows everybody he's fully engaged and intends to win." Ailes does note, however, that ""If the family elects not to sell it, it's not going to happen." (Via TVNewser.)
Finally, in Slate, Jack Shafer predicts that Murdoch won't destroy the paper, but will remake enough of it to turn it into a very different publication, one for which top journalists won't want to write and Jack Shafer won't want to read. Again: harsh words!
Yesterday: Episode V: Darth Murdoch Plays The Press