News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) is trying to persuade skeptics among the Bancroft family that it is sincere in its promise for editorial independence as part of the condition for buying Dow Jones & Co. Inc. (NYSE: DJ) according to published reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch has no plans to change anything at the editorial or news side of the paper if the family agrees to his proposed $5 billion take over.
The Bancrofts, who own 64 percent of Dow Jones voting stock, agreed last week to meet with Murdoch to discuss his $60-a-share offer. The meeting, scheduled for Monday, is intended to relieve the familyâ€™s concern about Murdoch's commitment to editorial independence.
The Journal reported that Murdoch is not willing to give the family editorial control over the company, however.
I can't put down $5 billion of my shareholders' money and not be able to run the business, Murdoch said in the interview.
Murdoch has suggested creating an independent board that would safeguard the editorial independence of the Wall-Street Journal publication. He has also offered the Bancrofts a seat on the News Corp. board.
In 1981 News Corp convinced Thomson Corp. to sell the Times of London, winning the backing of management with promises of editorial independence.
Dow Jones news executives advised the family on how to preserve editorial independence, according to the report.