The Wall Street Journal weighs in ($) on what Murdoch will do–and won’t do. Much of it echoes what we’ve been saying over the past month. Key points:
- Murdoch won’t wreck the Journal. He would be an idiot to pay a 67% premium over the company’s trading value to destroy it.
- Of course owners control their newspapers (except the Bancrofts)–and should.
- Editorial independence is a smart business decision.
- WSJ.com is about to hit 1 million subscribers (implication: we’re not planning to make it free).
Meanwhile, my former Merrill Lynch colleague and sharp newspaper analyst Lauren Fine weighs in at paidcontent with some additional thoughts:
- The Bancrofts were in dream land.
- Just because journalism is important doesn’t mean journalists deserve a sense of entitlement about it (newspapers are, first and foremost, a business).
- The Journal, though a great paper, is not the paragon of objective reporting that it holds itself out to be. Independence is not the same as “free from bias.”
- The migration of classifieds to the Internet is destroying the traditional newspaper business. This is not bad or good. It just is.
And now on to the next story, please.