A report by the British magazine The Business that Rupert Murdoch had reached a deal to buy Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal, turned out to be premature at best and fraudulent at worst as reports emerged that supermarket magnate Ron Burkle would meet with the Dow Jones board today (Monday). Word of the meeting suggested that the board was still willing to consider other suitors. Although Andrew Neil, editor of The Business, said that he stands by the report, which appeared on the magazine's website on Friday, the Journal itself reported in today's editions that Dow Jones director Leslie Hill was spurring board members to try harder to find alternative bidders. The newspaper quoted a person close to Dow Jones as saying that the meeting with Burkle is designed to "leave no stone unturned" in the search for alternatives to Murdoch. It also noted that one issue that continues to remain a hurdle in the negotiations with Murdoch has been the Down Jones contract with CNBC, which runs through 2012. That commitment, said the Journal, "could prove a stumbling block to News Corp's plans to use the Journal brand in its plans for a new, rival business channel."
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