'WSJ': Bancroft Counter-Proposal to Rupert Would Set Up Newsroom Board

By: E&P Staff The Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones & Co., will propose a special board to ensure the independence of the flagship Wall Street Journal, in a step that could set off negotiations over News Corp.'s $5 billion takeover bid, the Journal reported Tuesday.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal reported that the Bancrofts doubt the efficacy of a structure proposed by News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch to safeguard the paper' s independence. Murdoch, in a letter to the family last month, said he would establish a board "exactly along the lines" of the system he put in the Times of London when he acquired the paper in the 1980s.

The Bancrofts want a system with "teeth," the Journal reported. If Murdoch agreed to such safeguards, the paper said, then the Bancrofts would be willing to discuss other issues, including a price for the financial giant.

"This is not a done deal," one unnamed family member said in the article by Matthew Karnitschnig with contributions from Susan Pulliam and Sarah Ellison.


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