What do you think of News Corp.’s deal to buy Dow Jones? That was the question posed on the Wall Street Journal’s blog yesterday and more than 600 replies later the verdict of the internet readers was clear. They did not fancy the idea much at all.

The first responder, a Romesh Chander of Bellingham, WA “probably won’t renew my subscription next year; will probably look at Financial Times”.

Robert Goodwynn, the most recent contributor at number 614 when I last looked this morning, put a similar sentiment in a more forceful way: “As a blogger (I can’t recall who) wrote: No self-respecting fish would allow itself to be wrapped in a Murdoch newspaper.”

That first and last summarise the majority opinion. There are not too many pro-Murdoch comments and the Financial Times of London, which publishes an American edition, should get some circulation gains. Patrice Schneider from Zurich posed the question of what would happen if “FT hires the top editors (20?) of the current WSJ. How many incremental ad dollars and subscriptions would be needed by the FT to absorb these costs? If they do it, count on my subscription switch from WSJ to FT. The FT always wanted to expand the US market. This is your chance. Go for it.”

Hmm, mused Fred Tarley: “more likely is the following scenario: The WSJ hires the top 40 journalists from the FT. It doesn’t need to worry about how many ads or subscriptions it sells in the short term because Murdoch has deep enough pockets to finance many years of losses. The WSJ always wanted to clobber the FT and this is their chance. If that is what happens, it might be a strong paper. But if they submit to the Foxification of the newsroom, it’ll be a different animal. Maybe, just maybe, Murdoch will realise what a liability Fox is to him in this market.”

Meanwhile, the future according to MoveOn.org: