Merrill Family Reaches New Ownership Agreement

The Washingtonian magazine has announced a new ownership agreement under which Eleanor Merrill will become chairman of the magazine and Catherine Merrill Williams will become its publisher, continuing the Merrill family’s 28-year stewardship of the magazine.

The Merrill family, along with Landmark Communications, owns The Washingtonian under the umbrella of Capital Gazette Newspapers, which also includes the Annapolis Capital, a daily newspaper, and five other newspapers in Maryland. The Merrill family and Landmark have reached an agreement in principle under which the Merrill family will obtain full ownership of The Washingtonian and Landmark will obtain full ownership of the newspapers. The final agreement is to be put into place in the next several months.

Philip Merrill bought The Washingtonian in 1979. Until Mr. Merrill’s death last June, he served as the magazine’s chairman and publisher except for periods of government service when his wife, Eleanor, served as publisher. From 1990 to 1992, Philip Merrill was assistant secretary general of NATO in Brussels, and from 2002 to 2005 he served as president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Eleanor Merrill said, “I am extremely pleased to continue the Merrill family’s nearly 30-year involvement in The Washingtonian, which has become a world-class magazine. I am delighted that my daughter Cathy is able to succeed her father and confident that she will continue to publish well-reported, insightful, and useful articles that serve readers in our nation’s capital and the surrounding communities.”

“I am proud to succeed my father as publisher and will continue The Washingtonian’s commitment to editorial excellence,” said Cathy Merrill Williams. “The magazine will continue to focus on helping Washingtonians get the most out of this great city, and I am honored and humbled to carry on our family’s tradition.”

The Washingtonian was founded in 1965 and under the leadership of the Merrill family has become one of the nation’s most honored and successful magazines. It has won five National Magazine Awards for public service, reporting, writing, and service to its readers.