Upside down world: Alice Rogoff is owed $8 million by Dispatch? - Must Read Alaska
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Upside down world: Alice Rogoff is owed $8 million by Dispatch?

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Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Iceland President Ólafur Grímsson, and Alaska Dispatch Publisher Alice Rogoff, at the Arctic Circle Singapore Forum on Nov.12, 2015.


On the outside, all looks fine for Alaska’s largest news organization. The website keeps on keeping on. The commenters still gravitate there en masse to call each other names.  The Alaska Dispatch News newspapers still plop down in thousands of  Anchorage driveways every morning, and some employees tell their friends that all will be good from here on out thanks to the Binkley family of Fairbanks. 

But behind the scenes, the story of the collapse of Alice Rogoff’s would-be media empire just keeps getting stranger and stranger.

As 9-11 approaches – the official date on which the Binkley family from Fairbanks and/or others are to submit their offers to buy the Dispatch News out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a flurry of filings in federal Bankruptcy Court paint an ever crazier picture of this saga:

  • The court trustee has suggested the company of which Rogoff is now the owner-in-name only is such a train wreck that it might not be salvageable via a Chapter 11 reorganization and should be moved into a Chapter 7 liquidation.
  • Rogoff, who bought the newspaper and website from The McClatchy Company of California for $34 million about three years ago, has filed with the court as a creditor claiming that Alaska Dispatch News LLC, the limited liability corporation she set up to run the newspaper, owes her $8 million. For what isn’t clear.
  • Editor David Hulen, Rogoff’s right-hand man, appears to have lived up to what he once described as his greatest skill: “survivor.” Bankruptcy records reveal that he cut a deal that requires anyone buying the company pick up his contract. Other news employees are unlikley to make out nearly as well.
  • And the Dispatch News’ summary of assets for the bankruptcy court defines what might be its most valuable product at the moment –, the elephant in the jungle of Alaska news – as worth nothing.


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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments



    • An apology ? For what ?

      I’ll tell you deserves an apology.

      The family of SSGT Michelle Clark and her unborn baby deserve an apology. But first they deserve an explanation as to what really happened to her.
      We know that she was sexually assaulted by a supervisor while deployed in Kosovo. That much is clear. What isn’t clear are the lines of authority to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator.

      What is clear is that she told at least two different people, a trusted officer and a chaplain, of illegal activities within the Guard that she was aware of. These activities include weapon smuggling, drug distribution and sexual assault.

      Someone worked very hard to silence her, the details of this story are too much to ignore, but of course the ADN never printed these details because they almost immediately dropped the story once Walker was in.

      That much I’ll agree with you on.

      Sean Parnell, then-AG Dan Sullivan, Kevin Fryslie (FBI SAIC), Tom Katkus, Mark Mew, Tony Henry and more than just a few of their underlings worked very, very hard to keep this story out of the newspaper, thankfully Rich Mauer and Sean Cockerham saw enough there, unfortunately they didn’t pursue it to the end.

  • The emperor has no clothes. You are rich and have politicians over to oooh and ahhh about your art collection and everyone wants to be you.
    Forget the companies that have workers, who have families and bills, give 8 mil to the one who is responsible for the mess. Let them eat cake. Maybe Marie Antoinette really said,” Let them eat cake AND ICE CREAM.”

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