Brian Tierney, who bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News for $515 million last year together with a group of investors, is considering a bid for Dow Jones, according to the Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones already has a $5 billion offer on the table from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. "We would be inclined to participate" in a formalized bidding process for the company, Tierney said. "I don't believe News Corp is overpaying. Dow Jones is one of the world's great journalistic enterprises." Some members of the company's controlling family, the Bancrofts, are concerned about the effect a Murdoch takeover might have on the editorial independence of The Wall Street Journal. Many Dow Jones employees are opposed to Murdoch as well. The Independent Association of Publishers' Employees union, which represents 2,000 Dow Jones workers, has made overtures to several billionaires in the hope of thwarting Murdoch's bid. Supermarket king Ron Burkle has agreed to assist the union in exploring alternatives. Tierney has had run-ins with unions at his Philadelphia papers, where he implemented staff cutbacks. His changes did, however, reverse a decline in circulation at the Inquirer. Neither Dow Jones nor the Bancrofts have commented on Tierney's expression of interest.
Sources: Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, CNN.com, Editor & Publisher
Commentary: WSJ Reporters Hoping Burkle Will Save Them • The Anybody-But-Murdoch-Candidate: Ron Burkle Bidding For WSJ • Ron Burkle to Work with Dow Jones Union on Alternatives to Murdoch Bid
Stocks/ETFs to watch: News Corp. (NWS), Dow Jones & Company, Inc. (DJ). ETFs: PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio ETF (PBS)
Conference call transcripts: Dow Jones Q1 2007, News Corporation F3Q07
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