Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Murdoch Bids on Dow Jones

It's been a mixed couple of days for the media, underscoring how quickly the fate of venerable institutions can change:

Dow Jones today confirmed that its Board of Directors has received an unsolicited proposal from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation to acquire the firm for about $5 billion. CNNMoney notes analysts say it is an offer that could prove tough for the Bancroft family (which controls the publisher of the Wall Street Journal) to turn down. This would park the trusted news source in the same stable as the The New York Post, Fox TV and MySpace. Wow.

Meanwhile, TechTarget filed a registration statement in February. TechTarget and its shareholders are hoping to raise more than $100 million in an IPO. You may recall that we all sat up and took notice in 2004 when TechTarget raised an eye-popping (I use that a lot don't I?) $70 million at a time when the technology publishing sector looked quite drowsy. TechTarget has demonstrated how to build a successful publishing enterprise on a new business model, with its network of more than 30 highly targeted sites. They sport nifty titles such as SearchSQLServer.com, SearchVOIP.com and Search.Domino.com. Some of the titles have been spun out into print.

And last, as someone who loves newspapers, I'm always sad to
read stories about the continuing decline in circulation. From AP yesterday: Weekday circulation at U.S. daily newspapers fell 2.1 percent in the latest six-month reporting period, according to figures released Monday, in the latest sign that people are turning to the Internet and other media for news. For our hometown paper, the Boston Globe, circulation fell 4 percent in the six-month period ending March 31, to 382,500 from 397,300 in the same period a year ago. The paper's Sunday circulation fell 7 percent to 562,300 from 604,100.

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