Rogoff, a former chief financial officer for U.S. News and World Report and one of the architects of the Washington Post’s former weekly national edition, was a senior assistant at the Office of Management and Budget in the Carter administration.
She was smitten by wild and snowy Alaska during a 2001 vacation there and gave up Washington power parties to hunt moose, explore the Arctic and fly her own plane. She often ferried her reporters and photographers to cover news in the state’s remote corners.
One of Alice Rogoff’s first moves as the new owner and publisher of Alaska’s largest newspaper was to demonstrate her faith in paper and ink. After paying $34 million for the Anchorage Daily News in 2014 and changing its name to the Alaska Dispatch News, she went out and bought a new printing press.
“I don’t see an end to print,” said Rogoff, a former publishing executive in Washington, D.C., who maintained a long-distance marriage with her billionaire husband after she fell in love with Alaska
The paper, founded in 1946, was on the verge of shutting down when a federal bankruptcy judge approved a deal in which a pioneering Alaska family purchased it for $1 million. Rogoff personally lost millions. She had taken out a $13 million personal bank loan to help purchase the paper from McClatchy Newspapers and still owes the bank $10 million, the records show.
Her security to back that loan is money she receives from a marital agreement with her husband, David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group and whose personal net worth, according to Forbes, is $2.5 billion.
Though she spoke with half a dozen would-be buyers, she received only one bid for the paper, Rogoff told the judge during a Monday bankruptcy hearing. The buyers, the Binkley family of Fairbanks, which gained its wealth from hauling tourists and freight on the Yukon River for more than 100 years and five generations, stepped forward with the offer in August when the paper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.