Since Rupert Murdoch made his offer to buy out the parent company of the Wall Street Journal last week, the specter of Fox News has been hanging over the head of the journalistic community. The worry is that the news pages of the Journal, long admired for its high journalistic standards and reporting chops, will become just a shell of its old self, or worse, become a print version of Fox News.
Some significant fuel has been added to that fire today, in the form of Ken Chandler, who worked for Murdoch's News Corp. for almost 30 years and was editor in chief and publisher of the New York Post, a Murdoch property. In an article in Crain's New York Business, Chandler is quoted as saying that the WSJ "will be a counterbalance to the influence of the [New York] Times nationally, which Murdoch regards as very liberal ... I compare what he would do there to what he did to CNN when he started the Fox News Channel." Chandler is also quoted as saying Murdoch wouldn't interfere in the day-to-day business operations of the paper, but would bring in an editor "who would share his worldview." At Fox News, the infamous Roger Ailes, a former Republican political consultant, fills this role.
Crain's article notes that "Murdoch has assured members of the Bancroft family, who hold the controlling interest in [WSJ parent company] Dow Jones, that he would respect the Journal's editorial integrity and invest in its news-gathering operations." But in the New York Times today, David Carr observes that Murdoch has a history of making such promises at the time of a buyout, then not fulfilling them.