WSJ Op-Ed Pages: Safe?

Now that Rupert Murdoch is the proud owner of the Wall Street Journal‘s paleoconservative op-ed section, there are some questions. Namely, will News Corp. try to dictate the paper’s editorials to the degree that they have at the New York Post, Times of London and just about every other property they own? And do the politics of Murdoch and the Journal‘s ed staff jibe?

David Carr thinks they won’t and that they will get along just fine:

“Take Paul A. Gigot, The Journal‘s editorial page editor, for example. If you check the finer points of the editorial agreement between the News Corporation and The Wall Street Journal – section 1.4, subsection (ii) and subparagraph (E), items 1-3 – you will see that Mr. Gigot is granted the following prerogatives: the authority to choose editorial board members, columnists, the editor of the op-ed section, the editors of the book review and other sections, and, most significant, the final say over both op-ed pieces and editorial positions… With this agreement, The Journal‘s editorial operation not only continues its independence from the news side, but it has a firewall between it and its new owner. Mr. Gigot helped write the agreement, so it is no surprise that his position, if not by name, is one of the crown jewels deemed worthy of protection… Mr. Gigot already does business with Mr. Murdoch, moderating a show on Fox News Channel. And, as The New York Observer pointed out, they shared time on a panel just a week after Mr. Murdoch made a written offer for Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, but before that offer was made public.”

1. It’s cute that Carr thinks Murdoch won’t actively attempt to influence the WSJ‘s Op-Ed pages, editorial agreement or not.

2. What happens when Gigot and Murdoch have the inevitable ideological disagreement?

Good times.

Neal Ungerleider