How Murdoch Wooed The Journal, and Zannino's Role

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Michael Wolff's much anticipated book about Rupert Murdoch, which comes out tomorrow, is all the rage on this media Monday, and is at least something better to distract us from the depressing news all around us. Reviews are coming in fast, and most have their own judgments about Murdoch, not so much about the book.

Our parent Guardian is the only one to run an extract (outside of Vanity Fair's long extract this month) of the book, and this one is about the time when Rupert met then Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) CEO Rich Zannino, when the wooing began. Some doubts will always be cast on Zannino's role in this, and as former CEO Peter Kann questions in the book: "Why the fuck was Rich going for breakfast with Murdoch?"

From the extract: Murdoch: "I know that. I was thinking I'd take the offer directly to the board. I know the family feels that way. I've called [Michael] Elefante in the past. He won't even take a number. The number I'm thinking of is ... 60." Zannino: (internally) Holy Shit! (externally) Silence.

For a official version of how these meetings went about, read the old SEC filing which we pointed out here last year.

By Rafat Ali