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Moguls continue to shake up newspaper world, this time in the Far North

Leslie KaufmanThe New York Times

Alaska Dispatch, a 6-year-old website owned and published by Alice Rogoff, the wife of billionaire David Rubenstein, is buying the 68-year-old Anchorage Daily News from the McClatchy Co. for $34 million, the two companies announced Tuesday.

The price included the newspaper, which has the largest circulation in the state, and its building. In an interview, Rogoff said that the building constituted much of the purchase price and that it would be resold after she retained ownership in May.

The deal is just one more in a wave of investments by millionaires into the faltering newspaper business. Among the notable recent takeovers, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post; John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox, bought The Boston Globe; and real estate developer Doug Manchester bought The San Diego Union-Tribune and renamed it U-T San Diego.

Married to the private equity investor who founded the Carlyle Group in Washington, Rogoff has had an independent publishing career. From 1985 to 1997, she was the chief financial officer of U.S. News and World Report. Earlier in her career she served as an assistant to Donald Graham when he was the publisher of The Washington Post.

Pat Talamantes, McClatchy's president, said in a prepared statement that Rogoff surprised company executives when she approached them to make a deal.

"We weren't looking to sell The Daily News," he said, but "we saw advantages to local ownership in this case and opportunities for consolidation that would strengthen both news organizations."

Rogoff said she decided to buy the paper because "Alaska is one of those unusual places where community-based newspapers in print are still a business model that readers and advertisers care about."


By LESLIE KAUFMAN
The New York Times