Dow Jones & Co. struck a deal Tuesday with takeover suitor Rupert Murdoch on a plan to insulate the Wall Street Journal's pages from his business concerns, overcoming the biggest obstacle to the $5-billion acquisition.
The plan would establish a committee that would be able to veto decisions by Murdoch's News Corp. to fire the top Journal editor or hire his successors, according to people briefed on the negotiations. Any input from Murdoch on specific stories would go through the editor.
Details of the agreement weren't available, and some smaller issues were still being worked on. But both sides told associates that they were now confident of resolving the independence questions.
"There is substantial agreement on these main issues," said one person close to the process.
Dow Jones' negotiating team is working on behalf of the company's board, which took over the talks after the controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family, failed to agree on what editorial protections they wanted.