NWS-DJ Roundup: Imported Publisher?; DJ Newswires; Edit Board

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Imported publisher possible: Reports from both sides of the Atlantic that Times of London editor Robert Thomson will be involved in a Murdoch-run DJ. Murdoch has mentioned the possibility of keeping Gordon Crovitz on but Crovitz could remain as president of consumer media without being publisher of the Journal franchise, a job some think Thomson could get. (Better bet: Thomson as some kind of adviser/liaison.) WSJ: “A person close to News Corp. said Mr. Thomson is likely to ‘play a part’ at the Journal but it wasn’t clear exactly how. … A person close to the situation said Mr. Murdoch has no intention of replacing any of the senior management.” Crovitz was less oblique with the Journal than he was with us yesterday, saying he would like to stay.

DJ Newswires: Murdoch told the Journal in an interview that he wants to develop the wire service “aggressively.” WSJ: “The unit, which employs more than 850 journalists and publishes business news and data on about 298,000 English-language terminals world-wide, is one of Dow Jones’s most profitable. But its outlook has been clouded by the Reuters-Thomson deal. ” Dow Jones Newswires doesn’t distribute its product directly to institutions, but instead uses other companies, led by Reuters and Thomson. A combined Thomson-Reuters could make Thomson less likely to distribute Dow Jones’s content.”

Edit board conflicts? After much discussion, the five-person special editorial committee being established to safeguard the WSJ’s journalism post-merger was supposed to consist of people independent of both companies. (Each member will be paid $100,000 per year for a minimum of four meetings, plus expenses.) Turns out the One Laptop per Child nonprofit run by proposed committee chairman Nicholas Negroponte, the founding chairman of the MIT Media Lab, has a $2.5 million donation pledge from News Corp., Reuters reported, and one of the company’s execs is on the nonprofit’s board. Negroponte also has described Murdoch recently as a personal friend. DJ told Reuters it did not know of the connection. Another member, Thomas Bray, worked for the Journal from 1964-1983 and more recently wrote for OpinionJournal.com. A News Corp. spokesman told the Journal both companies perceive Negroponte as independent and said News Corp. didn’t care about Bray. DJ: “We are confident of the capability of the individuals to make independent decisions.”

For our full and continuing coverage of News Corp buying Dow Jones, read our dedicated section.

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