As The Dow Jones Turns: Board Seizes Rupert Negotiations

Includes: DJ, NWS
by: Tiernan Ray

As hinted at earlier today by the The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones (DJ), publisher of The Journal, has, in fact, issued a statement saying that the company’s board of directors has reached agreement with the company’s controlling Bancroft family to take over responsibility for reviewing News Corp’s (NASDAQ:NWS) bid for the company and “all other strategic alternatives, including remaining independent.”

One instantaneous take comes to us via Bloomberg, which quotes one Ed Atorino, an analyst with Benchmark Co., saying, “The fact the board is taking over means they will move forward and resolve the issue. It says to me they will sell the company and negotiate the best outcome and not let the family bicker about things like editorial control.'’

Meantime, things go from heated to farcical: The Journal has also reported that Brad Greenspan, a founder of social networking site MySpace, owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns News Corp., has himself sent a letter to Dow Jones’s board of directors offering his own bid of $60 a share for Dow Jones in order to “preserve The Wall Street Journal’s editorial independence,” The Journal quotes him as saying.

Greenspan allegedly declares in his letter that he and a group of investors intend to purchase up to $1.25 billion in Dow Jones stock. Greenspan, incidentally, runs a site decrying Murdoch’s acquisition of MySpace, called

Well! On the same day The Times of London, Rupert’s very own paper, says that Rupert will swap MySpace to Yahoo! (YHOO) for a stake in Yahoo — on that very same day! — the man contesting the sale of MySpace to Rupert for $580 million in 2005 offers to steal Dow Jones from under Rupert!

Tune in again next week, when I announce my secret $600-a-share bid for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG).

In after hours trading, Dow Jones shares slipped half a percent to $60.20 after closing up 3.23% at $60.65.