Rupert Near Deal On 'Wall St. Journal' Newsroom Protections -- Sale Next?

By: E&P Staff News Corp. and Dow Jones & Co. could announce as early as Tuesday measures to protect The Wall Street Journal's editorial independence -- an agreement that could clinch Rupert Murdoch's surprise bid for the financial publishing giant, the Journal reported on its Web site late Monday.

In an article by Sarah Ellison, the Journal said that both Dow Jones and News Corp. are concerned about whether the compromise will be accepted by the controlling Bancroft family stockholders. The family is no longer negotiating directly with News Corp., but remains anxious to impose a structure that would prevent Murdoch from interfering with the Journal's newsroom or opinion pages.

Details of the compromise reached by News Corp. and Dow Jones were not reported by the Journal.

While the progress in making the deal has stalled, raced ahead, and then stalled again, this latest report would seem the last hurdle for Murdoch, whose $5 billion, $60-a-share offer is the only publicly known bid for Dow Jones. The price represents a 67% premium on the trading price when the news of the offer emerged.


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