Former Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Norman Pearlstine is to join elite private equity firm the Carlyle Group as a senior advisor, reports Keith Kelly. He will leave his current position as senior adviser to Time Warner to which he ascended after leaving the executive editorship of Time Inc.
A Carlyle spokesman said that the hire "does not presage an existing deal." It does, however, presage greater involvment by Carlyle in deals involving publishing and media. Carlyle was part of the consortium that bought VNU,which owns Nielsen Media Research and the Hollywood Reporter and currently controls $41.9 billion in equity capital. Pearlstine said that the hire does not presage a selloff by Time Warner, either. He did, however, say it presaged "a lot of listening and learning over the next few months."
The Carlyle Group is well-known as extremely powerful and secretive, with ties to George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker . It was featured prominently in Craig Unger's "House of Bush, House of Saud," and also in a rather illuminating email forward from one Peter Chung back in 2003. This move will likely not presage a "Pearlstine is King" email.