Katharine Weymouth has law degrees from Harvard and Stanford. She's a single mother. And she also just happens, as CEO of Washington Post Media, to have one of the country's most challenging publishing jobs: saving The Washington Post.
The pressure on Weymouth is intense: in the last five years, the Post's circulation has dropped by nearly a third, and its ad revenues are in decline. Oh, and her grandmother, the iconic Kay Graham, took over the Post in 1963 and became the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Weymouth is a fascinating study, and worthy of a lengthy profile. The New York Times agreed, though where did it place this profile, which in essence transformed into a profile of women executives at the Post?
Shamefully, in the Fashion & Style section.
While the profile has moments in which Weymouth (and Graham) are meaningfully examined, those moments are rare. Instead, what we mainly get are social snapshots, diner party recollections and fluffy personal details worthy of People Magazine.
Here are just a few choice selections:
[Weymouth] does not take her famous name too seriously, and she likes to have fun. For years, she and [her best friend] Ms. Elkin, a labor lawyer, held a backyard Summer White Party, a spoof on the lavish Black and White Ball hosted in 1966 by Truman Capote to honor Mrs. Graham.
Once, at a club in Aspen, Colo., Ms. Weymouth spied Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez watching her dance.
To her 2012 “grown-up” dinner, [Weymouth] wore a $35 scoop-neck sleeveless sundress from J. C. Penney, a playful nod to an important Post advertiser whose chief executive at the time, Ron Johnson, was a guest.
Ms. Weymouth’s penchant for showing off her athletic figure — she arrived for a photo shoot in a crisp white sleeveless sheath and four-inch lime green Jimmy Choos — provokes titters in the newsroom. Then again, she works hard for it; Ms. Elkin said the two spend Sunday mornings doing free weights and “boy push-ups” with a personal trainer.
This, simply put, is absolutely shameful. Now, one might counter that this is just the NYT's way of denigrating a rival CEO.
To which I say: this doesn't change the denigrating fact that this examination of a high-profile woman was cast, and placed, in the de facto gossip section.
I'm waiting for a male CEO to be similarly profiled by the Times.