Our prediction was dead on (7/19/07 TVBR #140). Rupert Murdoch said in yesterday's News Corporation quarterly conference call that he intends to sell off Ottaway Newspapers, the local newspaper chain, but will keep the rest of Dow Jones once the acquisition closes. He plans to invest in growing the Dow Jones assets and, without giving specifics, said he hopes to expand internationally and do more non-business news to make The Wall Street Journal a stronger competitor to The New York Times.
Will News Corporation be able to make use of the WSJ for its Fox Business Channel, launching in October, despite its long-term contract with CNBC, owned by GE's NBC Universal? Murdoch told analysts that the contract covers only business news and appearances by WSJ reporters. "There are a lot of other things that we can do to associate ourselves," he said. Murdoch said, however, that News Corporation is not in negotiations to buy out the CNBC contract.