James Ottaway: “Disappointed” With the Bancroft Family

James H. Ottaway Jr., whose family controls 6.2 percent of Dow Jones voting stock, has been a persistent critic of Rupert Murdoch’s public overtures during the past six weeks.

“I’m pleased that the Bancroft family is holding together from selling Dow Jones to Rupert Murdoch,” Mr. Ottaway told The Observer in a May 25 phone interview. “I hope they continue to resist his charm offensive.”

But apparently, that charm offensive has partially succeeded. Yesterday, the Bancroft family agreed to meet with the News Corp. chief.

Reached by phone today, Mr. Ottaway has not wavered in his criticism.

“I do have the same position,” Mr. Ottaway said. “I’m disappointed that the family is going to meet with Murdoch and am very skeptical that it can write any agreement to guarantee the editorial independence of Dow Jones—independence that Rupert Murdoch would respect.”

As the former Dow Jones executive told The Observer last week: “You can see that [Mr. Murdoch] has imprinted his personal interests—his political biases—in his business interests.”

“He’s made promises before,” Mr. Ottaway said of the Dow Jones suitor. “He’ll say anything to buy something.”