Murdoch's Letter to the Bancrofts

The Wall Street Journal has published a letter the newspaper reports was distributed this morning to members of the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones, Inc., the Journal's parent company.

"We are disappointed, as I imagine you are, that the details of our proposal and the discussion of the merits of a potential combination have become a matter of public debate," Mr. Murdoch writes in the letter, referring to News Corp's $5 billion bid to buy the financial-news giant. "In the weeks since our proposal was made public on Tuesday, May 1st, there has been much written about a potential combination and News Corporation's intentions. I would like to express my regret if you have been placed in an uncomfortable position by the events of the past week."

Much of the rest of the letter is spent attempting to adjust that position:

Any interference — or even hint of interference — would break the trust that exists between the paper and its readers, something I am unwilling to countenance. Apart from breaching the public's trust, it would simply be bad business.

And there are some specific structural propositions, too:

 Commit to ongoing involvement of the family in the combined business of Dow Jones and News Corporation

I would appoint a member of the Family to the Board of News Corporation

 The family has been an excellent steward of Dow Jones for many generations.
 I would hope that including a family member on the Board would help alleviate any concerns about maintaining journalistic integrity and ensure good communication between the family and News Corporation going forward.

 Read the full text of the letter here.


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