Brad Greenspan, the Los Angeles-based entrepreneur who is best known as founder of MySpace, believes the the digital assets of Dow Jones have not been properly valued. Moreover, he believes that management has not effectively integrated its online properties.
He has organized a group of investors with the hope of acquiring a 25 percent ownership of the company. His effort has come together quickly, as the News Corp bid for all of Dow Jones has been revealed.
(He told the Los Angeles Times earlier this week that he may join Los Angeles-based billionaire Ron Burkle who is aligned with the Dow Jones newspaper union as a possible DJ buyer.)
Brad told me late today that he is in discussions with representatives of Dow Jones and shareholders. He hopes to meet to make a formal offer shortly. He declined to identify the members of his investment group, except to say that there are both strategic investors, with business objectives, and financial investors.
Brad thinks one of most undervalued and potentially profitable assets of Dow Jones is the Factiva unit. He believes that there are opportunities for the subscription-based business-information service to evolve into something of a public search engine for business.
He is also keen on creating a linear global business channel carried by satellite and the Web. He thinks there are big opportunities in business television. (He told me that one of his strategic partner is involved with satellite television distribution.) This sounds like the approach at Bloomberg: operate a continuous, global television program — and also use video as an adjunct to Web text reports.
Not sure if Brad and his group have much of shot against the Murdoch juggernaut, but it’s great to see the scrappy contender entering the fray. Whatever happens, you can count on a bigger and better presence for the Dow Jones digital assets — that’s inevitable. Also, the emergence of business television is going to happen. I personally believe it will be non-linear, not schedule-based, but better stay tuned. Who would have thought that business TV would be a hot sector?
Update: 7/9: The New York Times reports that the Dow Jones board is looking at alternatives to the News Corp overture and will meet with Ron Burkle.
— Andy Plesser