“At least Murdoch loves newspapers…”

Is this tantamount to the towel hitting the canvas?

But if the family is going to sell I see no point in pursuing industrial conglomerates, Internet entrepreneurs, supermarket magnates and real estate developers. None know anything at all about journalism. As to Mr. Murdoch, at least he loves newspapers, presumably would invest in the WSJ and Dow Jones, and would seem to have little incentive to tarnish a trophy he has coveted for so long.

That’s Peter Kann speaking, the former chief executive of Dow Jones and a sharp supporter of continued independence for the Wall St Journal and its sister publications, quoted by the Journal and highlighted by the New York Times’s Dealbook service.

But supermarket magnates, internet entrepreneurs and the like are precisely those being pursued by those still holding out against News Corporation’s $5bn bid for Dow Jones.

The latest white knight combination has Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle, who has already explored a tentative union-backed alternative buyout plan, joining now with Brad Greenspan, the founder of MySpace, to thwart Rupert Murdoch.

Mr. Greenspan, who tried to stop MySpace being sold to News Corp, has already proposed a tender offer to buy up to a quarter of Dow Jones, matching Mr Murdoch’s offer of $50 a share. On Monday the Journal said this offer was being extended to 50 per cent of Dow Jones with the help of EchoStar Communications.

A delegation of Dow Jones directors were reportedly meeting with Messrs Burkle and Greenspan on Tuesday, although there appeared to be little sign that a full alternative offer was likely to follow.

Time for the ref to intervene, perhaps. This fight is becoming inhumane.

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