2007.06.07: June 7, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Peru: Economics: Business: Journalism: Wall Street Journal: Peter McPherson emerges

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Peru: Special Report: MSU President and Peru RPCV Peter McPherson: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: RPCV Peter McPherson (Peru) : 2007.06.07: June 7, 2007: Headlines: Figures: COS - Peru: Economics: Business: Journalism: Wall Street Journal: Peter McPherson emerges

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-251-55-189.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Monday, July 02, 2007 - 10:43 am: Edit Post

Peter McPherson emerges
As Key Player in Bid for Wall Street Journal

Peter McPherson emerges <BR>As Key Player in Bid for Wall Street Journal

Some of the board's 11 independent directors have concluded that a sale should be consummated quickly, and that an effort to get a price higher than the $60 a share that News Corp. has offered -- only by a few dollars a share -- should be part of the effort. Mr. McPherson, though, seems less in a hurry. At Monday's meeting with Mr. Murdoch, he refused to accept the News Corp. chairman's proposals for an independent editorial board and pushed, along with the family representatives, for further negotiation, according to people familiar with the matter. Peru RPCV Peter McPherson is a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, former President of Michigan State University, and is now Chairman of the Board of Dow Jones, Publishers of the Wall Street Journal.

Peter McPherson emerges
As Key Player in Bid for Wall Street Journal

Dow Jones Chairman Emerges As Key Player in Bid

McPherson Is a Bridge Between Board, Family; Burkle Enters Picture


June 6, 2007; Page B4


As members of Dow Jones & Co.'s board of directors and controlling family appear to move closer to an agreement for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to acquire the company, board Chairman M. Peter McPherson has emerged as a new player.

The 67-year-old Mr. McPherson became chairman only on April 18. He is a former president of Michigan State University who worked in the Gerald Ford White House early in his career and currently is president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He has become a bridge between the family and the company's directors, who are in a delicate negotiation of their own over the fate of the company.

Their interests don't always align. Some of the board's 11 independent directors have concluded that a sale should be consummated quickly, and that an effort to get a price higher than the $60 a share that News Corp. has offered -- only by a few dollars a share -- should be part of the effort.

Mr. McPherson, though, seems less in a hurry. At Monday's meeting with Mr. Murdoch, he refused to accept the News Corp. chairman's proposals for an independent editorial board and pushed, along with the family representatives, for further negotiation, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. McPherson couldn't be reached yesterday evening.
Dow Jones Chairman M. Peter McPherson

Mr. McPherson briefed Dow Jones's top management and some directors Monday evening after the meeting, and he gave a full report on the session to an ad hoc committee of directors yesterday afternoon. The two sides have yet to schedule a new meeting but they will likely reconvene in some form this week or next, according to people close to the situation. As of late yesterday, the family board members had yet to brief their relatives on the Monday meeting. The family's advisers are working on revising their proposals for an independent editorial board for the next round of negotiations with Mr. Murdoch, according to those people.

The picture is complicated by the possibility of a third-party bid. A consulting firm retained by a union representing some Dow Jones employees said that it would explore plans for a possible bid with supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, probably involving some form of employee ownership. Any bid is seen as a long shot because Mr. Murdoch's $60-a-share offer represents a big premium over a stock that had been trading in the thirties. A spokesman for the consulting firm said it had received two other calls from investors interested in joining the effort. A spokesman for Mr. Burkle declined to comment.

Some board members are eager to ensure that Mr. McPherson and the Bancroft family don't make any side promises to Mr. Murdoch, according to a person familiar with the board's deliberations. Some board members were concerned that by negotiating on their own with Mr. Murdoch, the family had lessened the board's leverage in extracting a higher price.

The ad hoc committee of the board -- made up of Dow Jones Chief Executive Officer Richard F. Zannino, Textron Inc. CEO Lewis Campbell, the chair of the governance committee; Harvey Golub, the chair of the compensation committee and chairman of Campbell's Soup Co.; and Mr. McPherson -- is expected to take the lead on any negotiation with News Corp. While the Bancroft family can veto any deal, it is the board's role to put any offer up for a shareholder vote.

Mr. McPherson was appointed chairman after a protracted negotiation over the tenure of Peter R. Kann, Dow Jones's former chairman and chief executive. When Mr. Kann was nearing his retirement date from the board, there was some last-minute discussion among directors about keeping him on, to ensure that the board would have at least one director with a journalistic background. In the end, the board agreed to compromise, appointing Mr. McPherson as chairman.

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Story Source: Wall Street Journal

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