U.S. News

Murdoch Will Give WSJ Freedom, Irish Media Mogul Tells CNBC


Rupert Murdoch would allow Dow Jones to continue editorial independence if his bid for the publisher of The Wall Street Journal succeeds, according to the chairman of Ireland's top newspaper publisher.

"I think (Murdoch) should (buy Dow Jones)," Sir Anthony O'Reilly told CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. "I understand the problems with the Bancroft family…I think he would give them the guarantees of freedom and would allow them to exercise that freedom."

O'Reilly is the chairman of Independent News & Media, the publisher of the Irish Independent and other newspapers.

O'Reilly Bullish on Indian Media

"(The price is) very high, but it depends on what he thinks he can make out it in terms of making it into a multimedia asset," O'Reilly said. "But for just a simple newspaper, the metrics are very, very unusual."

O'Reilly also said he favors India as an investment opportunity for newspapers, rather than China due to concerns about intellectual property in China.

"India wakes up in the morning with a smile, China doesn't," he said. "And India has a rate of growth that you can actually hear. The people want a better life and they're going to have a better life."

"Free speech and the capacity to articulate your views without fear or favor in any country is a condition to a good newspaper, and they don't have that in China," O'Reilly added. "The same is true of Russia to a degree."

"We are very anxious to participate in the growth of Russia from an economic point of view, but we are not satisfied the conditions for a free press exist there," he said.