Conan O’Brien Reads, But Does Not Give Recipes to, ‘Good Housekeeping’MEDIA
•Yesterday the New York Post reported on Tiger Woods’s new $65 million Hamptons pad. The only problem? He didn’t buy the house. [Radar]
• Good Housekeeping published Conan O’Brien’s stew recipe in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. Except it wasn’t actually his recipe. “I’ve never cooked anything in my life. I didn’t send this to them; they completely made this up,” he said, then added: “I love this magazine, I’m not mad or anything.” [WWD]
• After a year of bickering, Dow Jones decided it will no longer carry news from the Associated Press. [Reuters]
Natalie Bancroft Is Not Just Some Idiotic GirlWhen pervy uncle Rupert Murdoch passed over more qualified members of the Bancroft family to appoint Natalie Bancroft, the great-granddaughter of Hugh Bancroft, to the board of Dow Jones this past fall, it’s safe to say eyebrows were raised. Sitting board members included a former U.S. secretary of Education and the former prime minister of Spain. Natalie was a 27-year-old aspiring opera singer, the daughter of a model and a race-car driver, with no prior experience in business or in journalism. “I know that me as a choice was kind of scandalous,” Bancroft tells writer Sofia Banay in Portfolio’s March issue. But “I’m not just some idiotic girl in piggytails yodeling.” Not just. Bancroft goes on to say that in between flying to Milan for voice lessons, she’s taking a journalism class and “working her little butt off” to measure up to her peers on the board. Will she be getting an MBA?, Banay asks her. “In journalism?” Bancroft responds. Oh, no, honey. We bet you learned all you need to know about journalism just from doing this interview.
Lady Sings the News [Portfolio]
Hillary Clinton Dismays Anna WintourMEDIA
• Anna Wintour took Hillary Clinton to task for backing out of her Vogue photo shoot because she feared looking “too feminine.” Wintour: “The notion that a contemporary woman must look mannish in order to be taken seriously as a seeker of power is frankly dismaying.” Ouch. [WWD]
• The Directors Guild showed up the writers in striking, heh, fashion: After just one week of negotiations, the directors struck a deal with the studios that includes the all-important online-video money. The writers are cautious, though, since the last time they followed the directors’ lead they got screwed on the home-video market. [WP]
• Wal-Mart, responsible for 20 percent of all “newsstand” magazine sales, announced it would dump more than 1,000 titles from its shelves. Shocking twist: The New Yorker stays, but Boar Hunter Magazine is out! [NYP]
Hedi and LVMH: Together at Last!FASHION
• Hedi Slimane is back in talks with LVMH to launch his own fashion house. Everyone, commence jumping up and down. [WWD]
• IMG is behind Bravo’s new model show but won’t be giving the winner a contract. [Fashionista]
• Not even Cavalli can rev up H&M’s sales. [NYP]
Rupert Murdoch Already Wriggling Around ‘Journal’ RestrictionsThere’s something fishy about the role of incoming Wall Street Journal publisher Robert Thompson. It’s not just that he’s the former editor of Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London (and therefore not someone with experience from the business side of a paper). It’s that he gives Murdoch an interesting loophole to get around the editorial-independence clauses that were set up at the request of the Bancroft family when he took over the Journal. Portfolio’s Jeff Bercovici reports:
Tom Bray, chairman of the five-person committee charged with overseeing compliance of the agreement, notes that it explicitly delineates the authority of the managing editor and editorial page editor but does not do so for the publisher. A change in the publisher’s duties, therefore, lies outside the agreement’s purview.
Some Lawyers Are SadLAW
• Know a troubled lawyer? If you work in the law, you probably do — some estimates put the ratio of depressed attorneys at 20 percent — and a few new Websites are trying help them out. [Law Blog/WSJ, WSJ]
• How not to get out of your marijuana arrest: When the judge lets you off easy, pull out a driver’s license covered in pot. [New York Law Journal]
• So just how lame was Cadwalader’s Wild Wild West holiday party last night? Wildly. [Above the Law]
Pandit and Willumstad to Share the Ultimate Power?FINANCE
• The newest Citigroup rumors suggest a “tag team at the top”: Financial whiz Vikram Pandit will take over as CEO, while the more socially astute Robert Willumstad handles chairman duties. We’re just not sure “tag team” means the same thing for us as it does the Times? [DealBook/NYT]
• Morgan Stanley issued a full recession alert for the U.S. economy today in the oh-so-subtly titled “Recession Coming.” Meanwhile, a recent Journal poll of top economists puts the risk of recession at 38 percent. [Telegraph, WSJ]
• Thirtysomething Blackstone real-estate guru Jonathan Gray is getting rather comfortable in the top tier of the young establishment. [DealBook/NYT]
CEO Rich Zannino Quietly, Kindly Resigns From Dow JonesSo Rich Zannino announced, as was expected, that he is resigning his post as CEO of Dow Jones. From the Journal itself:
Mr. Zannino’s resignation, which is expected to be the first of a series of executive departures from Dow Jones, highlights the dramatic change about to sweep through the company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and Dow Jones Newswires. News Corp’s acquisition of the company, expected to be approved by Dow Jones shareholders at a meeting next Thursday, ends more than a century of control by the Bancroft family.
Look at all that excited verbiage in there. After the jump, we have Zannino’s sweet “I Got a $30 Million Severance” good-bye e-mail to his colleagues.
Ben Bradlee Believes in Rupert MurdochMEDIA
• Legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee on Rupe’s play for the Journal: “I think Murdoch is a better journalist than the rest of you do. Well, I think because he’s smart, and he’s not going to fill it up with pussy stories. And he’s going to get good reporters. I think he does not want to fail on this.” [Radar]
• Ted Kennedy sold his memoir to Grand Central Publishing for $8 million, but the deal first has to be cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee. Something tells us the chapter on Chappaquiddick won’t be too long. [NYT]
• The Times bagged their first refugee from the Journal, though it’s not a very big catch: John Harwood, the veteran CNBC Washington correspondent and occasional contributor to the Journal, will now take his part-time work to the Gray Lady. [NYO]
The Bancroft Family High Jinks: Ongoing!MEDIA
• The Bancrofts are so dysfunctional that they missed the deadline for choosing their representative to the new Dow Jones board. Murdoch then vetoed two family nominations before agreeing to Natalie Bancroft, a 27-year-old opera singer and journalism neophyte. Family member Crawford Hill concluded: “This entire, sad and pathetic final episode is a fiasco. No wonder we lost Dow Jones!!” [WSJ]
• With the Times hiring former sex writer Susan Dominus as the newest “Metro” columnist, will the section be heading toward the look of “Sunday Styles”? [NYO]
• Nora Ephron: Blogging makes us better writers. Hey Nora, can you call our boss? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
Tony Blair Sells Out Rupert MurdochMEDIA
• Tony Blair sold his memoir for $9 million to Knopf, something of a surprise since Blair has long been tight with Murdoch, known for offering advances so big they resemble campaign donations through HarperCollins. [Media Mob/NYO]
• A democratic member of the FCC requested an investigation of Murdoch’s Dow Jones deal, arguing the merger consolidates too many powerful outlets in one less than trustworthy hand. [B&C]
• Bloggingheads, everyone’s favorite lo-fi insider-y political fight club, reached a content-sharing agreement with the Times. [HuffPo]
Topshop Signs a Lease in NYC?FASHION
• Breaking rumor alert: After months of hinting, Topshop has possibly, maybe signed a New York lease. Anglophiles and Kate Moss–ophiles, rejoice! [Fashionista]
• First he’s out as the designer of Dior Homme. Now, Hedi Slimane’s been replaced by none other than BFF Karl Lagerfeld as the photographer of the ad campaigns. Oh, cruel fashion world! [WWD]
• Giorgio Armani’s raking in the dough. The designer sold back a 5 percent stake in his company to Giorgio Armani SpA for about $110 million. [British Vogue]
Bear Stearns Execs Cashed Out Before Stock DroppedFINANCE
• James Cayne and three other top Bear Stearns execs cashed out $57 million in stock before the bank took a nose dive, pawning off $16 million in losses on regular investors. [TheStreet.com via DealBreaker]
• With Ellyn McColgan’s departure, Fidelity president Rodger Lawson has gone from new guy in town to likely successor. [Boston Globe via DealBook/NYT]
• Blackstone raised $21.7 billion for its latest private-equity fund. Apparently drumming up the last $6 billion was pretty tough. Cue the violins! [Deal Journal/WSJ]
Jeffrey Goldberg Wants a PonyMEDIA
• Atlantic owner David Bradley sent ponies to Jeffrey Goldberg’s kids to help lure him away from The New Yorker. Seriously. [WP]
• Just before the Dow Jones deal went through, the Bancrofts voted to double this quarter’s dividend for themselves [NYP]
• Murdoch and Ailes’s next move? All-out war? (Wait, they’re not at war with everyone else already?) [Newsweek]
It’s Expensive Being Rupert MurdochMEDIA
• Did Dow Jones cost Rupert Murdoch an extra $1 billion just because he’s Rupert Murdoch? [Slate]
• Rik Hertzberg to blog for The New Yorker. From YearlyKos. And without fact-checking. [
You Were Right About the Personal-Injury LawyersLAW
• David Sheeger, a Manhattan personal-injury lawyer, pleaded guilty to using a “runner” to ferry him potential cases from inside hospitals. [New York Law Journal]
• A missing Connecticut lawyer admits to embezzlement in a letter to his attorney son. [Connecticut Law Tribune]
• Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau is 88 and unrelenting. [Law Blog/WSJ]
Liberal Activists to ‘WSJ’ Rescue!
Oh, how cute! MoveOn.org held a protest this afternoon against Rupert Murdoch’s purchase of Dow Jones, handing out fake, “Murdoched” versions of The Wall Street Journal in front of the company’s World Financial Center headquarters. Of course, it’s hard to see what effect a lefty protest can have on an already- consummated business deal by a bunch of people who don’t care what lefties think. But, then, these are also the people who supported Howard Dean and then John Kerry; we don’t imagine their expectations are high.
Related: Wall Street Journal Gone Wild [The Nation via Yahoo]
Rupert Murdoch Is Happy, Can’t You Tell?
Not that we’d pretend to understand how Rupert Murdoch thinks, but a question: If you’re leaving the board meeting of your global media behemoth at which the board has just voted to approve your deal to buy a company you’ve aggressively pursued, if you’re successfully buying the company after you didn’t budge an inch from your initial offer a few months ago while all the people who’d publicly said they hated you eventually came around and sold their family company to you, if you’ve said for years, even decades, that you wanted to buy this company, and if you’ve intentionally left the window of your SUV open so that photogs could get a good shot of you reveling in your victory, well, shouldn’t you at least try to look excited? Just asking.
The Dow Jones Deal, DigestedSo what does Rupert Murdoch’s successful purchase of Dow Jones mean for the company, the Journal, the country, the world, you? Let’s (metaphorically) ask Jim Romenesko, the ultimate summarizer of such matters. According to Jim, “explaining how Murdoch ended up winning DJ is simple,” but the “WSJ will lose prestige with News Corp. running the show.” “Murdoch’s DJ purchase could change business journalism.” (You think?) “WSJ reporters react bitterly to news of Murdoch’s victory,” and “‘just what the world needs [is] the Fox-ification of the WSJ.’”
He Wants You to Want Him to Testify
• Spitzer on testifying under oath about his noninvolvement in the Joe Bruno surveillance: “I’m happy to, going to, look forward to it.” Anything else? “I’d love to.” [NYP]
Dow Jones Deal: All Over But the Shoutin’... and the payoffs to the Bancrofts’ lawyers and bankers, and the inevitable fury of Christopher Bancroft, and the mass defection of Journal staffers to the FT and the Times and, as at least the folks at Columbia Journalism Review would have you think, the topless chicks on the front of “Money & Investing”:
But, yeah, it’s basically over.
Bancroft Family Accepts Deal, Executive Says [Reuters via NYT]
Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Rupe’s Gonna Make It After All?It’s a funny thing. When any of us has a deadline, we have to obey it. Work has to be in when work has to be in. Taxes must be postmarked by April 15. The 5:09 for Montauk leaves at, God willing, 5:09. But apparently if you’re an already-rich family try to cash out on your newspaper company — or, for that matter, if you’re the State of New York applying for a half-billion dollars — a deadline is but a trifling concern. And so yesterday’s 5 p.m. cutoff for the Bancrofts to yea or nay a sale of Dow Jones to News Corporation came and went, and still no one knows the result. The Times today calls a deal “tantalizing close,” and the soberer Journal says the two sides “edged closer.”
Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Busted!
There’s around a half-hour left to what’s nominally the deadline for the Bancrofts to approve a sale of Dow Jones, their family media company and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. So what’s going happen? The short answer: No one knows. The Denver trusts are still holding out for more money, and now some of the Boston lawyers who act as trustees might feel that way, too. Rupert says he won’t offer more. Jane Cox MacElree, a family matriarch, is still against a deal, but she resigned from some of the trusts she heads because their beneficiaries are in favor. Family lawyers are trying to restructure one of the trusts Christopher Bancroft oversees, because he’s against the deal and will vote the shares in opposition, even though some of the beneficiaries of that trust support it. The Times says that it’s possible this whole thing will go into tomorrow or beyond, deadline notwithstanding. (“How long does it take to make a vote?” a fund manager asks in a CNN/Money article, echoing everyone’s frustration.) Oh, and Murdoch is “highly unlikely” to go through with the deal if he only gets enough Bancroft support to squeak though. So, yeah, we’ve got no idea. But so far today Dow Jones stock has dropped almost three points, or 5.6 percent, to 51.5 — which means investor think things aren’t looking good for a deal.
Bancrofts’ Jockeying Over Murdoch Deal Goes Down to the Wire [WSJ]
Dow Jones Deal Dead? Don’t Bet on It [CNN/Money]
Bancrofts Said Divided as Journal Deadline Looms [NYT]
News Corp. Says It’s ‘Highly Unlikely’ to Buy Dow Jones at Current Count [WSJ]
Is Murdoch Starting to Sweat?MEDIA
• With the deadline set for 5 p.m. tonight, the Bancrofts’ vote on the Dow Jones deal remains too close to call. [WSJ]
• Jimmy Fallon is apparently the lead contender to take Conan O’Brien’s place once Conan jumps to Leno’s time slot. Yikes. [Broadcasting & Cable]
• Is Jane Pratt’s new project a Gwen Stefani magazine? [Fashionista]
• Late-night talk legend Tom Snyder is dead at 71. [AP via NYT]
• While A.G. Andrew Cuomo was investigating him, Eliot Spitzer gagged two aides by quickly designating them “special counsels” — which bestowed lawyer-client privilege on their internal chats. Clever, and ever so slightly nauseating. [NYP]
The Bancroft-o-Meter: Death to Rupert?Movement on the Bancroft-o-Meter! The Journal’s Matthew Karnitschnig breaks the news this afternoon that the group of Bancroft trusts managed by a Denver law firm — as opposed to the bulk of the trusts, controlled by a Boston firm — will vote against the proposed sale to News Corporation. This is sort of a big deal, as the Denver-controlled votes were thought to be in favor of the Murdoch offer. Indeed, if we’re doing our math right — and we’re by no means certain we are — with the Denver 9.1 percent of votes against Murdoch, combined with Christopher Bancroft’s 15 percent, which are definitely against, and Jane Cox MacElree’s 15 percent, which according to Wednesday’s Journal article are likely against (she’s the one who cried at the family meeting Tuesday while invoking Danny Pearl), 49.1 percent of votes are against the deal. Throw in the Ottaway family’s 7 percent, a definite no, and that puts 56.1 percent of Dow Jones votes against the Murdoch deal at the moment. Doesn’t it?
UPDATE: No, it doesn’t. And we’re really bad at math. 15+15+9.1 = 39.1, not 49.1. So we’re at 46.1 percent against now. Wow we’re embarrassed.
Key Bancroft Family Trust to Vote Against News Corp. Bid for Dow Jones [WSJ]
Earlier: Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Lukewarm, Maybe?
Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Lukewarm, Maybe?Yesterday was the big Bancroft family meeting on the future of Dow Jones, and today The Wall Street Journal has a hugely comprehensive takeout on who in the family stands where on the question of selling to Rupert Murdoch. (Somewhere, Clark Hoyt is kvelling.) No one really knows what’s going to happen: There are 33 Bancrofts, with more than 100 different trusts, managed by two different trusts and estates law firms, who have a say in this. After 2,700 words, by five bylined reporters, it’s impossible to tell who controls what votes and which people will vote which way. But, still, like on any good daytime soap, it’s fun to break down the players. After the jump, it’s all Jessie Bancroft Cox’s children.
Facebook Hires YouTube’s MoneymanFINANCE
• YouTube’s former finance chief joins Facebook as CFO. Sales drums bang louder. [WSJ]
• Mark Lenowitz, a stock picker for Chelsey Capital and Q Capital Investment, admitted to insider trading. [Reuters via DealBook/NYT]
• James O’Shaughnessy, a Bear Stearns exec once called “the father of strategy indexing,” will leave the bank to start his own firm. [MarketBeat/WSJ]
Bancrofts Meet, Say (Almost) Nothing
The Bancroft family, owners of Dow Jones and its Wall Street Journal, met for something like seven hours yesterday in Boston to hear about Rupert Murdoch’s bid to buy the company. There were a series of presentations but no actual debate; a decision could come as soon as later this week. Christopher Bancroft, a key opponent of the sale, spoke to reporters as he was leaving the meeting, but he wouldn’t comment. He was, however, wearing a hat that said “Bite Me.” Subtle.
Related: Family Talks on Sale of Dow Jones Are Called ‘Not Acrimonious’ [NYT]
Does That Polo Pocket Look Like Levi’s?FASHION
• Levi Strauss & Co. is suing Polo Ralph Lauren for supposedly copying the brand’s trademark pocket stitching. [WWD via British Vogue]
• Sass & Bide has canceled their New York Fashion Week show after one of the designers required further chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. [Fashion Week Daily]
• Women ages 40 to 55 get their own Izod line. [NYP]
Know Your BancroftsThey’re the most watched formerly quite private rich family in America right now: the Bancrofts, proprietors of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal for the past century. The company’s board has approved Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion takeover offer, but the deal isn’t done yet, and it won’t be till the family signs off. They’re meeting today in Boston to discuss. Who are they, exactly? After the jump, a family scorecard.
How Now Dow Jones?
• Thirty or so Bancrofts are converging on a Boston Hilton today to discuss whether they’d like some more money. (Actually, spread across the clan, the estimated $500 million in profit a Dow Jones sale would bring doesn’t sound like a staggering amount.) [NYT]
• Councilman and former Black Panther Charles Barron (he of the “Sonny Carson” avenue-renaming idea Bloomberg called “the worst ever”) announced he’s running to replace Marty Markowitz as the Brooklyn beep. Should be a lively campaign, as they say. [NYP]
• In rapper-arrest news, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule have been picked up on separate (!) gun-possession charges in busts an hour apart. [WNBC]
• Midtown businesses that lost money to last week’s steam-pipe blast will not see a red cent from Con Ed — not even restaurants that lost their supplies to spoilage when the power was cut. Some are threatening to sue. [NYDN]
• And the Yankees beat the Devil Rays 21-4 last night, which both tabs agree puts the team in the “21 Club.” Yuk yuk yuk. [NYDN, NYP]
After ‘WSJ’ Deal Closes, Will Pam and Jim at Least Get Together?As the shadow of Murdoch begins to loom over Dow Jones, the offices of The Wall Street Journal are turning into the set of The Office. At least according to today’s Times, which depicts the Journal staff reduced to a very familiar kind of gallows humor and passive-aggressive sniping. Some have been answering phones with a cheery “News Corporation!” Others, getting ready to mock the boss, have begun to mimic Rupe’s Australian accent, the same way every Californian in 2004 had an Ah-nuld impersonation. A cryptic “I fly with Leslie” poster, noticed by the Times reporter, translates to a statement of defiance: Leslie Hill, a former pilot, is a Bancroft who’s against the deal. Even the bureau chiefs are getting into the populist-outrage humor: “We will have Page 3 girls,” announced one after a conference call with Murdoch, referring to the cheesecake shots his London Sun publishes. “But in a concession, they will be dot drawings.” And it’ll only get worse: Wait till they find out they’ll be merging with the Stamford office.
Murdoch’s Arrival Worries Journal Employees [NYT]
And in Non-Explosion News...
• As if last night’s man-made horrors weren’t enough, here’s one from Mother Nature: A tornado touched down in Islip Terrace, uprooting trees and ripping up a law office, as two storms pummeled Long Island at the same time. [WNBC]
• Some Wall Street Journal employees answer phones by drawling “News Corporation” in an Australian accent. [NYT]
• Congress is refusing to pass a “routine resolution” honoring the New York Archdiocese because it mentions scandal-tainted Cardinal Edward Egan by name. Honorable, we guess. Remind us why Congress is honoring archdioceses in the first place? [NYP]
• Al Sharpton, who led the drive to get Don Imus fired, will have no problem with his nemesis’ return to the airwaves: “He has a right to make a living.” So does the Rev, who clearly needs new material. [amNY]
• And mazel tov to Mark Malkoff, who visited every Starbucks in Manhattan — there are 171 — in 24 hours. Bad news: Dude’s an “aspiring filmmaker” and, naturally, filmed the journey. [NYDN]
Dow Jones, Mediabistro Play ‘Let’s Make a Deal’MEDIA
• The Dow Jones board approved Murdoch’s bid, but two of the four Bancrofts on the board refused to take part. The family is expected to meet Monday to begin deliberations. [NYT]
• Jupitermedia bought Mediabistro.com for $23 million, causing critics to smell a tech bubble. [NYT]
• The new issue of Portfolio will be out soon, and rumor has it that editor Joanne Lipman is ignoring Condé protocol by poaching other books’ staff. [WWD]
IHOP Bids for Applebee’s: The End of an American Institution?
There’s news of an enormous, potentially game-changing corporate acquisition, the reverberations of which will be felt all across the country. We speak, of course, of the announcement that IHOP Corp. will buy the Applebee’s chain for $2.1 billion. IHOP plans to convert the floundering Applebee’s, one of the few company-owned national food chains, to the more popular franchise model. Though the deal appears to make immediate economic sense, we’re naturally worried about the possible loss of Applebee’s legendary culinary freedom. Will celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who had just unveiled his bruschetta burger and herb-crusted chicken breast for the fall menu, set to debut September 18, be allowed to continue his independent and aggressive experimentation under IHOP Corp.?
• After all that, Albany shelved Bloomberg’s congestion-pricing idea, letting the federal-funding deadline pass without the issue even coming to a vote. Expect a new traffic-reducing proposal, nothing like Bloomberg’s, later in the year. [NYT]
‘Jane,’ So OverMEDIA
• Jane mag is dead. [Radar]
• The Dow Jones board will meet with Ron Burkle today, but an alternative deal to Murdoch’s appears unlikely. [NYT]
• MTV Networks negotiated its upfront ad sales partly based on commercial ratings. [WSJ]
Today in Dow Jones: Everything’s Different; Nothing’s ChangedWhen last we checked in on the players in the New Corporation–Dow Jones drama — the star-crossed Bancroft family, their Wall Street Journal, the interloping scamp Rupert Murdoch, and the thousands of field hands who fear they’ll be sold down the river if Murdoch gets his hands on the thing — a British business mag was reporting that a purchase deal was essentially done and Dow Jones spokesmen were saying it wasn’t. Where do things stand today? The Times reports that the editor of that British biz mag insists his story is true; the Journal reports that Dow Jones is still desperately seeking other suitors, including Ron Burkle, though perhaps only as a way to get Rupe to raise his offer; senior Journal editors tell the Times a lot of Journal reporters will lose their jobs if no deal happens; one longtime big-shot editor left the paper for Business Week; and Norm Pearlstine, the former Journal managing editor who went on to run Time Inc., says in the L.A.Times that Murdoch should encourage the Journal to cover News Corp. aggressively. In other words, nothing has actually changed.
Expert on Murdoch Insisted Dow Jones Deal Was Done [NYT]
Dow Jones Makes Late Push to Find Other Buyers [WSJ]
Job Cuts Averted as Bid for Journal Stays Open [NYT]
Journal Editor to Join a Magazine [NYT]
You’ve Got to Cover Yourself [LAT]
Just Say No
• Hidden among other traffic-reducing measures in New York’s application for federal congestion-pricing funds is a doozy: Just Stay Home. One of the proposed changes is “telecommuting as a travel demand management strategy.” [Metro NY]
• The Post, firmly on Joe’s side in the Bruno-Spitzer battle, reports that Spitzer’s aides pretty much begged anyone with a badge to investigate the state senator (including, unsuccessfully, “at least one New York City D.A.” — how many of those do we have?). [NYP]
• Despite “experts” insisting that the Bancroft-Murdoch deal is done, the Dow Jones board will be meeting with Ron Burkle today. In the meantime, Journal defections start: A top editor is moving to Business Week. [NYT]
• The first week the new noise regulations were in effect prove one thing: We’re a city of nasty little tattletales. The top complaint to 311 — almost half of the calls — concerned not construction clatter or Mister Softee but noisy neighbors. [NYDN]
• And here’s a free mobile service that puts Google Maps to shame. Should you ever find yourself lost in the Manhattan grid with nowhere to relieve yourself, mizpee.com will send you the address of the “closest, cleanest” restroom. You know, in case you lose the ability to walk into a hotel lobby on your own. [NYDN]
Who Will Catch the ‘Journal’ Stars?
Even before Rupert Murdoch declared his intentions, The Wall Street Journal was already a bit under siege. The paper is full of talent that other publications want, and greedy rival editors — from Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Portfolio, Newsweek, Time, the Times — are drawing up their lists of Journalistas to entice away. After the jump, a speculative shopping list.
Breaking: There May or May Not Be a Deal for Dow Jones!A British mag called The Business is confidently reporting today that “Rupert Murdoch has succeeded with his $5 billion bid for Dow Jones, owners of the Wall Street Journal, according to sources acting for the Dow Jones board.” The Business says the price is $60 per share, that the deal includes the legally enforceable editorial-integrity agreement reached last week, that the Bancrofts are all onboard, and that the deal will be announced next week. Just one little problem. Dow Jones says none of it is true:
A spokeswoman for Dow Jones said the report from The Business was “false.” She said there has been “no change” in ongoing negotiations on the takeover offer from News Corp. (NWS). “The only agreement is on editorial independence,” said the spokeswoman, Andrea Grinbaum.
Sigh. We really have to deal with this on a summer Friday?
EXCLUSIVE: Rupert Murdoch buys Dow Jones, owners of the Wall Street Journal [The Business]
Dow Jones: Report On Completed News Corp Deal ‘False’ [DJ Newswires via CNNMoney]
Scarborough Takes Imus’s SlotMEDIA
• Joe Scarborough picks up Don Imus’s coveted MSNBC morning slot. [Radar]
• The Dow Jones editorial-independence agreement with News Corp. stipulates that disputes will be aired on the Journal’s editorial page. [WSJ]
• News Corp. bought two Bronx weeklies, expanding its weekly neighborhood newspaper holdings. But how well will Murdoch papers go over in Greenpoint and Williamsburg? [NYT]