Anne Gordon Goes from Newsroom to Boardroom

I often get asked why I haven’t jumped over to the investing side of things, where the pay is better and… Well, where the pay is better.

My response is usually a variation of Woody Allen’s line about never joining a club that would allow a person like him to become a member. After all, I deserved to fail the last econ class I took in college (thank you grade inflation and Prof. Ball for letting me graduate on time). 

But lots of writers do become investors, and often with great success. The original wave went into venture capital, including folks like Mike Moritz and Stuart Alsop. And now the buyouts market is getting its feet wet. Norman Pearlstein went from Time Inc. boss to The Carlyle Group last year, and today comes word that Philadelphia Inquirer managing editor Anne Gordon has agreed to join Dubilier & Co. as a partner.

I spoke with Gordon for a few minutes earlier this afternoon, and she says that the catalyst for her move was last year’s sale of the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News to a group of private individuals like ad exec Brian Tierney, homebuilder Bruce Toll and former Hamilton Lane chief Les Brun. “The acquisition was really the reason that I began thinking about how private equity figures into the state of media, and about how I might be interested in getting involved on that level,” Gordon said.

One of her initial market contacts was Michael Dubilier, and the two hit it off immediately. About three of four months ago, the two began discussions about Gordon going to work for Dubilier & Co., and the rest is recent history.

Gordon will focus on media opportunities, but admits that big-city dailies will not be on the top of her shopping list. Instead, she expects to spend most of her time on digital media opportunities.

She also doesn’t plan to leave spirited Philly for sterile Stamford (my adjectives, not hers). “Philadelphia is a fabulous city, and I’m very glad to be staying here,” she said. “But I’m sure I’ll be traveling a lot more than I have been.”