Rupert Murdoch Loves Dow Jones, Whitefish

Today in the "Rupert Murdoch wants Dow Jones" story that will not die: Apart from the aforementioned Wall Street Journal profile of the Bancroft family—who, you'll recall, have a controlling interest in Dow Jones—there's a Tim Arango piece in Fortune that examines how the family's lust for dividends has "starved Dow Jones of capital to grow its business. Arango suggests that Rupert Murdoch could convince Dow Jones' independent directors to reduce those dividend payouts, forcing the Bancrofts' hand.

While some of the Bancrofts want to meet with Murdoch, others oppose the move. The Boston Globe offers a history lesson about Charles Barron, who bought Dow Jones in 1902 and is known as "the conscience of the company." (A local Port Huron paper has a less-detailed history of the Ottaway family, which controls about 5% of Dow Jones stock.)

Yesterday's Times Sunday Business section featured an extensive profile of Murdoch, who loves newspapers, hates elitists, believes he'll never die and eats a lot of whitefish. Today's Times says that the Journal is barely profitable and getting less so, which made Murdoch's bid more attractive. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz joins the cast of thousands who claim that Murdoch cannot help but interfere with his newspapers.

The Journal examines Dow Jones CEO Richard Zannino. They paint him as a man caught in the middle in the battle between the Bancrofts and stockholders who want the bid to go through. Zannino claims to have no position on the deal. The Economist suggests that, given the bids for Dow Jones and Reuters, Bloomberg is the next likely target.

Last Week: Shady Asian Business Practices Spice Up Murdoch-Dow Jones Story