The vote ends more than a hundred years of Bancroft family control over the company, and not without some strong objections from within the family. Only 54% of the supervoting stock that's largely controlled by the Bancrofts voted in favor of the deal; the family had quarreled last summer over whether they should accept the deal. About 78% of the common shares voted in favor.
Now would ordinarily be the moment to look for Rupert Murdoch, the News Corp. chairman-CEO, to shake up the C-Suite and install his own lieutenants -- but he already did that last week. News Corp. veteran Les Hinton, who'd been executive chairman at News International, is replacing Dow Jones CEO Richard F. Zannino, a major architect of the deal. And L. Gordon Crovitz, publisher of the Journal, is out; Robert Thomson, the top editor of News Corp.'s Times of London, is in as publisher of both the Journal and Dow Jones.
The Journal reported today that Mr. Murdoch even attended the annual Dow Jones holiday party for executives yesterday, wearing -- like many of them -- a Santa Claus cap. News Corp. is expected to take actual legal control of Dow Jones tomorrow.