Dow Jones, Murdoch Near WSJ Editorial Pact

Dow Jones & Co. Inc. (DJ) and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS) are close to a pact that would protect the journalistic independence of The Wall Street Journal if News Corp. acquired the media company, according to newspaper reports on Sunday.

Even if the two sides reach an agreement on editorial integrity, it does not guarantee that the Dow Jones Board or the Bancroft family, which controls 64 percent of the company's shares, would approve the arrangement, The New York Times reported in its online edition.

The Wall Street Journal said News Corp.'s offer had reduced the Bancroft family's involvement in the editorial protection system and Dow Jones was working on a counter-proposal.

Dow Jones declined to comment. News Corp. and the Bancroft family were not immediately available to comment.

Last week, Dow Jones said its board will take over negotiations related to the $5 billion takeover offer from News Corp.

Merger negotiations heated up over the weekend, though both sides had moments when they were close to walking away due to tense discussions over editorial independence, The Wall Street Journal said.

The merger talks were constructive, and said that an agreement in principle for News Corp. to acquire Dow Jones could come together quickly, The Wall Street Journal reported.

News Corp is the parent company of