SHE SAYS IT WAS ‘INCENTIVE COMP’
BY CRAIG MEDRED
The former owner of the bankrupt and gone Alaska Dispatch News/ADN.com took the stand in Anchorage Superior Court on Wednesday to testify under oath that the former editor of the 49th state’s by far largest news organization lied about a note promising him $1 million.
Alice Rogoff, the ex-wife of U.S. billionaire tycoon David Rubenstein, said 10 annual payments of $100,000 per year she guaranteed ADN editor Tony Hopfinger in 2014 weren’t for the purchase of his remaining, 5 percent interest in the online-only news organization – AlaskaDispatch.com – he started with ex-wife Amanda Coyne.
Instead, the 67-year-old Rogoff said, the promise was an added “incentive comp” to Hopfinger’s already healthy, new, $190,000 per year salary to encourage him to stay in Alaska for a decade “as president of the company and help me make it work.”
The first witness called by Hopfinger’s attorney in a lawsuit demanding she pay up on a handwritten, signed and dated napkin-promise, Rogoff portrayed the note as nothing more than an effort to buy Hopfinger’s fealty because she needed him to make her newspaper enterprise succeed.
She admitted, however, that there are no witnesses to back this claim. The note was written while Rogoff and Hopfinger were in the offices of the Anchorage law firm Birch, Horton, Bittner and Cherot. It was witnessed by Jennifer Alexander, one of the firm’s small army of attorneys.