Weymouth in 2014
|Born||May 28, 1966|
|Known for||Past-publisher of The Washington Post|
Katharine Bouchage Weymouth (born May 28, 1966) is an American lawyer and businesswoman who from 2008 to 2014 was publisher of The Washington Post and chief executive officer of Washington Post Media.
Weymouth grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City, where she attended the Brearley School. She later attended Harvard College, earning a BA magna cum laude in literature in 1988, before studying literature for a year at Oxford University. She earned her JD from Stanford Law School in 1992.
While an associate at Williams & Connolly, a prominent law firm in Washington, D.C., Weymouth went to work as an assistant counsel of the Post in 1996. She later became the head of advertising. Weymouth was named publisher of the Post and chief executive officer of Washington Post Media on 7 February 2008, succeeding Boisfeuillet Jones Jr.
Among her first actions as publisher was hiring Marcus Brauchli as executive editor and placing him in charge of both newspaper and the website (the previous editor had not been in charge of the website). The hire from outside the organization "surprised the newsroom. ... Brauchli ... had accepted a large payout and resigned from his previous job, running The Wall Street Journal under its new owner, Rupert Murdoch", as a 2012 Times account put it. The 2012 account outlined signs and reports that more recently her relationship with Brauchli may have "cooled" and noted that Raju Narisetti, whom Brauchli had brought with him from the Journal as a close partner "in the digital reinvention of the newsroom", had left the Post in January. However, the Times also said that "[b]y one important measure, The Post's efforts are paying off. Recently, it has averaged 19.6 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore, making it the second-most-visited American newspaper Web site, behind that of The New York Times."
In July 2009, in the midst of intense debate over health care reform, The Politico website reported that a health care lobbyist had received an "astonishing" offer of access to the Post's "health care reporting and editorial staff." Weymouth had planned a series of exclusive dinner parties or "salons" at her private residence, to which she had invited prominent lobbyists, trade group members, politicians and business people. The cost of attendance to the parties was up to $250,000 per individual, with the events being closed to the press and the public. Politico's revelation sparked controversy in Washington, as it gave the impression the parties' sole purpose was to allow a select group of Washington insiders and business people to purchase face time with Post reporters.
Almost immediately, Weymouth canceled the salons and blamed the entire incident on the marketing department at The Post. The backlash also prompted David G. Bradley, publisher of The Atlantic, to admit that he hosts similar off-the-record discussions at his home and office at the Watergate, and in 2012, looking back on the incident, the Times said that "magazines host similar conferences all the time". However, it is unheard of to charge as much as $250,000 per person (if anything at all) for such an event.
In 2015, tech startup FiscalNote announced that Weymouth would serve as an advisor to the company. She is currently CEO of dineXpert, a company that describes itself as a community for independent restaurant owners.
Weymouth is a daughter of columnist and publishing heiress Lally Weymouth and the architect Yann R. Weymouth. She is a granddaughter and namesake of long-time Washington Post chairwoman and publisher Katharine Graham. Her mother's family owned the Post from 1933, when the bankrupt paper was bought by Weymouth's great-grandfather (Fed chairman Eugene Meyer), until it was sold to Jeff Bezos in 2013. Weymouth is the fifth member of her family to have held the publisher position.
On her father's side Weymouth is a niece of Tina Weymouth, a former member of the band Talking Heads. Her paternal grandfather is Admiral Ralph Weymouth. One of her ancestors is the Breton writer Anatole Le Braz.