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This WSJ report sheds a little light on the quick rebuttal to last week’s claim of a done deal between News Corp. and Dow Jones … The DJ flagship reported Sunday on last-ditch efforts to find buyers not named Murdoch, spurred in part by the concerns of Bancroft heir and DJ director Leslie Hill. She is said to have complained the committee isn’t trying hard enough to find alternatives or to work with entrepreneur Brad Greenspan, whose offer is only for part of DJ’s shares. The company also would like the bargaining leverage that could come with an additional suitor or two. Nothing else seems to be budging Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. from the initial, high-premium $60 per share.
The DJ board’s ad hoc committee plans to meet Monday with Ron Burkle, who so far has failed in high-profile efforts to acquire Knight Ridder or any of its assets in partnership with the Newspaper Guild and the Tribune Company. This time, Burkle is talking about a bid with the DJ union that would include an employee stock ownership plan. The WSJ says Burkle has yet to make an actual offer but he has asked for a meeting: “The meeting with Mr. Burkle is designed to ‘leave no stone unturned’ in the company’s exploration of alternatives to Mr. Murdoch’s offer, according to a person close to Dow Jones
— The DJ-CNBC contract that runs through 2012 is described as a “minor hitch.”
Update: Two stories from the NYT … one about the continuing search for ABM (anybody but Murdoch), including a reminder that Burkle isn’t interested in a bid on his own.
The other borders on emotional blackmail as “senior editors and a person close to Dow Jones management” warn that the Murdoch bid may be the only thing preserving some WSJ jobs. “If the $5 billion bid by Mr. Murdoch