NYT: Journal Staffers Don't Like Anyone to Own Paper
Pity the poor Wall Street Journal staffer. The union is battling the Bancroft family that currently owns the paper. Then News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch made a big bid for the firm and Journal reporters and editors didnât like that. Now, they donât like the prospect of another outside bidder either.
The June 21 New York Times said âsome reporters and editors at the Wall Street Journalâ are calling their options âa choice between âtrash or slash.ââ âTrash,â by their definition, is the Murdoch bid. âSlashâ is the new possible bid by General Electric (NYSE: GE) and Pearson (NYSE:PSO), which owns the Financial Times.
Now, according to the Times, some staffers actually prefer Murdoch, though the union has actively sought opposing bids. âIf you put a gun to my head, Iâd take Murdoch over G.E.-Pearson,â the Times quoted one âsenior editorâ as saying.
Still, the Times coverage didnât reflect many positives about the Murdoch bid. The article admitted Murdoch is a âshrewd businessman,â but then added that his âmotivations sometimes go beyond profit to include prestige and political influence.â
The Times did mirror some of the Journal staffersâ complaints by criticizing G.E. and its chairman as well. Both âhave a reputation for wielding the sharpest of pencils, aggressively hunting for savings,â said the story.
While it raised questions about both major suitors, the story left out the ongoing battle between the union and the Bancroft family. A letter from the Journal union, IAPE 1096, complained June 20 that âmanagement started stonewalling againâ in current negotiations.
That came just two days after the union took legal action against Dow Jones, the parent company of the Journal. âJust a quick update on the fight for a Quality Contract: We have recently filed two unfair labor practice charges against Dow Jones,â wrote President Steve Yount on the union Web site. Yount has also openly opposed the Murdoch bid and tried to recruit left-wing billionaires to make a bid for the company.