The former owners of the Wall Street Journal still can’t agree on anything, the Guardian reports, and Murdoch has now dropped any pretense that he cares what they think. Rejecting the family’s eventual choice of environmental scientist Michael Hill as a News Corp. board member (too much of an “activist”), Murdoch tapped Natalie Bancroft, a 27-year old opera singer who lives in Europe. News Corp said Ms. Bancroft was chosen in part because the company wanted a woman. And a potted plant:
News Corporation has overridden the wishes of members of the Wall Street Journal’s founding family by appointing a 27-year-old opera singer with minimal media experience to represent them on its board.
Natalie Bancroft will represent the Bancroft dynasty when News Corp buys the family’s Dow Jones empire, which includes the Journal, for $5bn (£2.5bn).
The choice was heavily criticised by corporate governance experts who questioned whether she would be an effective check on the company’s senior executives. After much infighting, the Bancrofts had nominated Michael Hill, an environmental scientist, but News Corp was unhappy with his record of activism and vetoed his nomination.
Speaking last night, News Corp’s chairman Rupert Murdoch said: “They’re a funny family, they couldn’t decide between themselves who they wanted to nominate.