Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Murdoch's Dow Jones Offer: The Bancroft Family Summit

Rupert Murdoch

Today, the Bancroft family is meeting in Boston to discuss Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones bid, which the DJ board recently signed off on. The family is gathering at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Boston--starting with a lunch at one pm, and then meetings scheduled until 8p, ET. They're getting briefed by the family lawyer Michael Elefante about the details of the takeover bid, then they'll have time to raise concerns and ask questions.

There are a couple of hot-button issues that have arisen in the past week or so that are sure to be raised. One is Brad Greenspan's alternative proposed buyout--he promises his plan will push Dow Jones stock up to $100 per share. Another is Dieter Von Holtzbrink's abrupt departure from the Dow Jones Board last week. And then there are the various family members' displeasure with Murdoch's offer. One family member sitting out the board vote, another leaving the board meeting early.

About 50 people were expected to attend this meeting--the 32 or so Bancroft family members, trustees responsible for the Bancroft family trusts, a representative of Wachtel Lipton, the family's law firm, and a financial advisor from Merrill Lynch. When the meeting wraps up today, the family lawyer will ask the meeting's attendees to think about what they learned and talked about, and in the next couple days he'll come back to them to see what they've all decided.

So we are NOT expecting any decisions to be announced today--though we should hear something fairly definitive by the end of the week. I'm waiting for a statement from the Bancroft's rep about what they've discussed--which will probably sum up what I've got here. But if there is any breaking news, I'll be on top of it.

Questions?  Comments?