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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
Dow Jones chiefs to take bid lead
Copy of Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is a US business staple
Directors of Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal, are to take the lead in talks over a planned $5bn (2.5bn) takeover by News Corporation.

Discussions so far have focused on preserving the paper's editorial independence, with its main investors - the Bancroft family - taking the lead.

But Dow Jones said its board would now head discussions over the bid and "other strategic alternatives".

Analysts suggested the move could lead to a quicker resolution of the deal.

Journalistic provisions

But, in a statement, Dow Jones said that it and the Bancroft family - which controls voting rights in the firm - would still have to be satisfied that the paper would remain independent under new owners.

"Representatives of the Bancroft family reiterated that any transaction must include appropriate provisions with respect to journalistic and editorial independence and integrity," the company said.

Since making its surprise bid for Dow Jones in May, Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has sought to reassure sceptics that the paper's independence would be maintained.

Many observers expect a counter-bid for Dow Jones from another media firm, with Pearson - publisher of the Financial Times - being seen as a likely candidate.

Philadelphia Media Holdings, the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper, has also claimed it is interested in mounting a rival bid.


SEE ALSO
Rival paper studies Dow Jones bid
08 Jun 07 |  Business
Dow Jones shareholders set terms
12 Jun 07 |  Business
Union claims rival Dow Jones bid
05 Jun 07 |  Business
Dow Jones jumps on bid war hopes
01 Jun 07 |  Business

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