TUESDAY PM: The Wall Street Journal announced this evening that News Corp.’s $5 billion purchase of Dow Jones has been approved by the boards of both companies, which met separately over the past few hours. After three months of drama in the Bancroft family and public debate about journalistic values, the two companies are expected to sign a merger agreement and issue statements in the next few hours. The deal ends a century of Bancroft-family ownership at Dow Jones.
TUESDAY AM: News reports this morning say News Corp’s last-minute $30 million bribe to the Bancroft family worked, and Dow Jones & Co will become a cog in the wheel of Rupert Murdoch’s Behemoth Media empire. Now he can use the Wall Street Journal brand to help launch his Fox Business Channel later this year. Gee, most people would have been offended that Rupert was treating them like prostitutes — in effect, saying: we’ve already established that you’re a whore, now we’re just negotiating the price. But the Bancrofts let greed be their guide instead of their conscience. So now we know: $30 mil is the current price of the principle of press independence. I’m still sure key holdout Christopher Bancroft didn’t give up the good fight. But news reports say Bancroft family members owning 32% (of the clan’s 64.2%) of Dow Jones’s overall votes have agreed to support Rupe’s $5 billion bid — more than enough to clinch the deal. News Corp has scheduled a board meeting for 4 p.m. this afternoon, and Dow Jones’s board is due to meet this evening. (I’ll analyze later.) Previous: Murdoch Offers Bancrofts $30+ Mil Bribe