Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp. made a $5 billion offer Tuesday to acquire Dow Jones and its newspaper, the Wall Street Journal. A business analyst and a journalist discuss the offer's impact.
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The latest potential shakeup in the newspaper world would be a big one: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has made a $5 billion takeover offer for Dow Jones & Company, parent of the Wall Street Journal.
Murdoch offered $60 per share, a 67 percent premium on the company's recent market value. Nevertheless, the family which has controlled Dow Jones for over a century, the Bancrofts, said it would oppose the deal.
The Wall Street Journal has the second-largest circulation in the U.S. and prints editions in Europe and Asia. It also has a successful Internet presence and is one of the few newspaper sites that charges users for its content. In addition to the Journal, Dow Jones also owns: Barron's, a financial weekly; the Dow Jones Newswire; and the MarketWatch Web site.
The company would become part of Murdoch's worldwide media empire, valued at some $70 billion. It includes the FOX television network, FOX News Channel, 20th Century FOX film studios, and the New York Post in the U.S., and newspapers and television networks abroad. Last year, News Corp. also bought the popular social networking Web site MySpace.
The offer comes at a critical time in the newspaper industry, as readers and advertisers have fled print for the Internet. The Journal has not been immune to the financial downturn and is only modestly profitable.
Murdoch spoke about the deal yesterday on FOX News, one of his marquee media properties.
RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO, News Corporation:
This is the greatest newspaper in America, one of the greatest in the world. It has great journalists which deserve, I think, a much wider audience. We feel that, with online and offline, there's a great deal to be done here. It's got great journalists; it's got great management. But it's got rather a confined capital. It needs to be part of a bigger organization to be taken further.
Murdoch hopes to do that later this year, with the launch of a business news channel that would integrate the Journal's worldwide reach and resources to make the start-up network an immediate force in financial news.