Over at CNNMoney, Paul R. LaMonica is calling the sale of the Wall Street Journal the lamest bidding war ever, and we can’t blame him. As previously mentioned, NBC and Microsoft passed on a joint bid for Dow Jones. However, there’s still WSJ union favorite Ron Burkle and Philadelphia Inquirer owner Brian Tierney.
But does the Philadelphia newspaper owner really have a shot at one of the biggest media properties in the country? In the Washington Post, the gossip columnist for one of Tierney’s papers gave an unequivocal (and bitter) no:
“I’m tickled pink that Tierney has apparently found a mother lode of money coming from [the two newspapers] and I look forward to him sharing it with his employees,” Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky said yesterday. “I look forward to him welcoming back 75 people who lost their jobs because he said he couldn’t afford to keep them. I’m looking forward to our pension being restored now that he’s got enough money to be throwing at the Wall Street Journal. I’m looking forward to having our sick pay restored now that we know he’s so flush.”
Daniel McQuade, a Philadelphia journalist who doubles as a blogger, is skeptical as well, but Tierney’s WSJ bid appears to put himself in a win-win position. Tierney, a former PR executive whose surprise $500 million bid for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com made him a first time newspaper owner barely a year ago, gained heaps of credibility last week. Just by e-mailing a press release and making a few strategically placed leaks, Tierney catapulted himself into the national spotlight and is now in a position that any newly-minted regional press mogul would be jealous of. True, he’s the dark horse — but he’s also the only publicly announced rival to Murdoch in the competition for the WSJ.