Murdoch on WSJ deal: “Why would I spend $5bn just to wreck it?”

Rupert Murdoch has used an interview in this week’s edition of Time magazine to refute suggestions that he would harm the editorial quality of the Wall Street Journal – if he succeeds in buying it.

In the interview Murdoch says: ‘Why would I spend $5 billion for something in order to wreck it.’

Of the Bancroft family, which owns most the shares in Dow Jones, he had this to say: ‘They’re taking five billion dollars out of me and want to keep control. In an industry in crisis! They can’t sell their company and still control it. That’s not how it works, I’m sorry”

Of his not-so secret desire to compete head-to -head with the New York Times he had this say: ‘My worry about the New York Times is that it’s got the only position as a national elitist general-interest paper. So the network news picks up its cues from The Times. And local papers do too. It has a huge influence And we’d love to challenge it”

Of his place in journalistic history he says ‘I am not looking for a legacy, and you’ll never shut up the critics. I’ve been around 50 years. When you’re a catalyst for change you make enemies- and I’m proud of the ones I’ve got.”

His final comment, when it was suggested that he will downgrade the WSJ to the level of the NY Post, was: ‘When The Journal gets its Page Three girls we’ll make sure they have MBA’s’

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