NEW YORK - When the Bancroft family meets today to consider Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion bid for Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co., relatively few of them will actually be named Bancroft.
There will be a Hill, a Steele, the family’s lead trustee, who is named Elefante, and yes, at least one Bancroft, first name Christopher. Other family members have last names that include Cox, Robes and MacElree.
And if their names are hard to keep track of, it’s been just as hard trying to predict the outcome of their vote about Dow Jones.
They initially rejected Murdoch’s offer out of hand, but then agreed to meet with him and eventually won assurances that he wouldn’t meddle with the paper’s news coverage.
Today, the family that controls Dow Jones and its flagship, The Wall Street Journal, is in its sixth generation, with some three dozen adult members spread out across the country.
After the initial meeting today in Boston, the family is expected to take several days to consider Murdoch’s bid.
If enough of them commit to endorsing a deal, the process moves to final approval by the boards of Dow Jones and News Corp., the global media conglomerate that Murdoch controls.