Boards OK purchase of Mail Tribune parent company

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. sealed a $5 billion agreement to purchase Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal and the parent company of the Mail Tribune, after three months of drama in the controlling family and public debate about journalistic values, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies, which met separately over the past few hours, according to people familiar with the situation. The two companies are expected to sign a merger agreement and issue statements in the next few hours, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The 76-year-old mogul, whose properties range from the Fox television network to the Times of London, negotiated hard to win the paper he long coveted. The Bancroft-family, which owned Dow Jones for a century, worried about protecting the reputation of the Journal, the nation's second-largest newspaper. They feared Murdoch would meddle in the paper's editorial affairs and import the brand of sensationalist journalism found in some of his properties such as the New York Post. Some Bancrofts sought other buyers.

But ultimately, Murdoch's $60-a-share bid — a 67% premium above Dow Jones's share price when the offer became public — was the only serious offer on the table. Key family members, spurred by Dow Jones's board and advisers, decided they had no choice.

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