Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dow Jones shareholders approve News Corp buyout

Dow Jones & Co Inc shareholders voted to approve a $5.6 billion buyout by News Corp on Thursday, giving Rupert Murdoch control of one of the world's most influential newspapers, the Wall Street Journal.

Shareholders controlling 60.27 percent of Dow Jones' voting power approved the deal, priced at $60 per share.

Moments after the deal closed, Murdoch said on Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto" show that a free Wall Street Journal Web site could boost its current viewership from 1 million paid subscribers up to 20 million global visitors as early as next year.

"There will be more than enough advertising to make up" a loss of subscription fees to, he said. "It might take a year to get there. But it will get there."

The purchase cements his position as gatekeeper of media outlets spanning from his hometown in Australia to London to New York.

"Our aim is pretty simple," Murdoch told Wall Street Journal newsroom staffers, according to a transcript of his speech. "We have to entertain, inform, enrich all our readers in their lives and in their businesses. We must be the preeminent source of financial information and comment in the world."

To trumpet his victory, News Corp plans a $2 million marketing campaign including ads in Friday papers.

According to a report in Fortune magazine's Web site, the Financial Times and China Daily refused to run the ads without changes that Murdoch was unwilling to make.

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