Rupert Murdoch Teams up With Former Adversary James Ottaway Jr.

Figuring out the future of journalism makes strange bedfellows. Rupert Murdoch, meet your new business partner, James Ottaway, Jr.!

To wit: Executives at the News Corporation announced today that they have purchased a minority share of Journalism Online. Two of the other, significant investors in Journalism Online, Paid Content reported today, are James Ottaway Jr., a former Dow Jones board member, and his brother David.

In 2007, when Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation was bidding to buy The Wall Street Journal, James Ottaway Jr. emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the deal.

Throughout the courtship process, Mr. Ottaway repeatedly criticized Mr. Murdoch. In June, 2007, for instance, shortly after the Bancroft family agreed to meet with their aggressive suitor, here’s what Mr. Ottaway told The Observer:

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.

He’s made promises before.  He’ll say anything to buy something.

According to Paid Content, Jon Housman, the newly minted president of News Corp.’s  digital journalism initiatives, will be joining Journalism Online’s board.

This afternoon, a spokesperson for Journalism Online told The Observer that, sure enough, one of the other seats on the board is currently occupied by the Ottaway family.

Rupert Murdoch Teams up With Former Adversary James Ottaway Jr.