Take this statement to its logical conclusion, and Dow Jones seems destined to follow Knight-Ridder and the dodo bird into extinction. Thursday afternoon, the family issued the following statement, as published by the WSJ itself:
BOSTON, May 31, 2007 — Following a special meeting of the Board of Directors of Dow Jones & Company held at the request of the Bancroft Family directors to discuss matters related to the recent proposal by News Corporation (NWS) to acquire the Company, the Family today issued the following statement:
As we have been since 1902, the Bancroft Family remains resolute in its commitment to preserve and protect the editorial independence and integrity of The Wall Street Journal, as well as the leadership, strength and vitality of The Journal and all of the other publications and services of Dow Jones.
Since first receiving the News Corporation proposal, the Family has carefully considered and discussed among ourselves and with our advisors how best to achieve that overarching objective, while serving the best interests of the Company’s various constituencies.
After a detailed review of the business of Dow Jones and the evolving competitive environment in which it operates, the Family has reached consensus that the mission of Dow Jones may be better accomplished in combination or collaboration with another organization, which may include News Corporation.
Accordingly, the Family has advised the Company’s Board that it intends to meet with News Corporation to determine whether, in the context of the current or any modified News Corporation proposal, it will be possible to ensure the level of commitment to editorial independence, integrity and journalistic freedom that is the hallmark of Dow Jones.
The Family also indicated its receptivity to other options that might achieve the same overarching objective.
There can be no assurance that the dialogue with News Corporation or any other party will result in the negotiation, or the desire of Family members to pursue the negotiation, and execution of any agreement regarding the Company or in any transaction.
References herein to the Bancroft Family are to various individual Family members and trusts for the benefit of Family members. Ultimate voting and dispositive power with respect to the shares of the Company held or controlled by such individuals and trusts resides with those individuals and the trustees of the trusts.
In after hours trading, Dow Jones shares were up $4.69 to $58.
Disclosure: I work for Dow Jones; I am a shareholder; and I am a member of the IAPE, a union representing DJ editorial employees which has declared itself to be in opposition to the acquisition of Dow Jones by News Corp.