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From Staff Reports
It appears that media mogul Rupert Murdoch finally has his prize.
The boards of directors of Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones & Co. Inc., and Murdoch’s News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) late yesterday were reported to have approved a deal in which News Corp. will buy Dow Jones for $5 billion in cash. That places the value of Dow Jones (NYSE: DJ) at $60 per share. Published reports citing anonymous sources close to the deal said the News Corp. board approved the pact yesterday evening, and that the Dow Jones board followed suit with an approval of their own a little later on. Dow Jones owns the vaunted Wall Street Journal, the noted online news aggregate MarketWatch, as well as other properties.
Even for a nationally circulated, and well-read publication such as The Journal, the trends were working against it, as media analyst Ken Doctor told MarketWatch late yesterday: "The stand-alone newspaper company is really endangered.” The reason: The digital side of the business hasn’t yet grown to the point where it can overcome the revenue from advertising and circulation that’s been falling for years. Plus, with an aging population, newspapers’ prime customers are slowly dying off. Younger people get their news on the Internet. And newspaper publishers have done nothing but shoot themselves in the foot time and again as they tired to harness that potential, other experts say. These trends will force still more publishers to merge, probably with conglomerates that have related, but complementary, businesses, with alternate revenue sources.