NEW YORK -Rupert Murdoch, the audacious and often controversial head of News Corp, an international media and entertainment empire, has realized his long-time dream to purchase The Pennysaver. The news comes only weeks after Murdoch completed a deal to purchase The Wall Street Journal.
In the mid-seventies, on a visit to Western Pennsylvania, Murdoch happened to pick up a copy, and after reading it cover to cover, bought a washer and dryer for his Park Avenue penthouse. He was hooked, but his desire to affix his name above the masthead remained unfulfilled, until yesterday. A spokesman for News Corp issued a statement this morning claiming the Bancroft family, which controls thirty-seven per cent of Dow Jones, Inc., the owner of The Pennysaver, accepted Murdoch’s unsolicited five billion dollar offer last night.
In acquiring The Pennysaver, Murdoch obtains one of the crown jewels of American weekly consumer publications. The Pennysaver is considered required reading for the nation’s business and power elite, as well as those people looking to sell old pianos, unload firewood, or collect coupons offered by a variety of competing pizza emporiums. News of Murdoch’s triumph was greeted with suspicion by many. In an attempt to assuage the fears of Pennysaver employees and readers alike, J. Danforth Bancroft, patriarch of the family, told reporters “it is our fervent hope that in the years to come, The Pennysaver will continue to enjoy, and deserve, the universal admiration and respect in which it is held by sensible shoppers and value-conscious people all over the world.”