Dow Jones says board of directors will take lead role in sale discussions

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New York—Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, said Wednesday that its board will take over sales talks with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

A statement issued by Dow Jones said the board and representatives of the Bancroft family have concluded that “the best way to continue to evaluate the News Corp. proposal to acquire the company would be for the board of directors to take the lead in addressing all aspects of the proposal and all other strategic alternatives, including remaining independent.”

The statement added that the Bancroft family, whose members hold a controlling interest in the company, “reiterated that any transaction must include appropriate provisions with respect to journalistic and editorial independence and integrity.”

Talks between the Bancroft family and Murdoch, which started late last month, have apparently reached an impasse, while other players have emerged as possible suitors for Dow Jones. On Thursday, Pearson PLC and General Electric Co., which had been in talks about purchasing Dow Jones together, said that they were no longer pursuing that purchase.

Dow Jones’ main union, the Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, is also shopping for a bidder for the company.

—Matthew Schwartz

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