Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Kennedy Center Looking for New Leader as Billionaire David Rubenstein Announces Exit, Buys Baltimore Orioles


The Kennedy Center is looking for a new CEO.

Billionaire David Rubenstein, whose name and imprimatur is on the Center, the Washington Monument, and many other institutions, is stepping down. At 74, he says he’s had enough and will concentrate on buying the Baltimore Orioles. Because, why not?

Rubenstein is said to be worth $4 billion, all of it derived from his work at the secretive private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, which he founded.

In 2014, Rubenstein made news when he unceremoniously dismissed the beloved creator of the Kennedy Center Honors, producer and director George Stevens Jr. Rubenstein was determined to turn the Honors into something more resembling the Grammy Awards than a real salute to all the arts.

Rubenstein leaving now, before the fall presidential election, makes sense. This way there can be a transition to a Biden- backed successor rather than gamble on something unforeseen happening after the election. Meantime, Deborah Rutter, who’s very popular, will remain CEO.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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