‘WSJ’ Report: Murdoch Offers Board Seat to Bancrofts in Bid for Dow Jones

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By: E&P Staff

As part of his charm offensive to win over the skeptical majority stakeholders at Dow Jones & Co., News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has offered to put a Bancroft family member on the board if his $5 billion bid for the company goes through, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Monday afternoon.

In a letter distributed to family members Monday, Murdoch also said he would establish an independent editorial board similar to one he created when he bought The Times of London in 1981, according to the report by Dennis K. Berman and Matthew Karnitschnig. The board would have the power to approval the hiring or firing of the Journal?s top editor, and would mediate any disputes between management and the newsroom, Murdoch said.

Murdoch did not, however, raise the $60-per-share offer for the publisher of the Journal.

He said he has ?always respected the independence and integrity of the news organizations with which I am associated.?

Murdoch pledged to keep the company?s current management in place, and expand the Journal?s Washington bureau. He asked for a meeting with representatives of the family. A board member who represents the family has said that members holding shares amounting to a 52% voting stake in Dow Jones have said they would not agree to the News Corp. offer.

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