Correction to This Article
Earlier versions of the photo caption with this story incorrectly identified the man at the right as Norfolk publisher Bruce Bradley. Instead, it is Landmark Vice Chairman Richard F. Barry III. The caption has now been corrected.

Annapolis Newspaper Swapped for Washingtonian

The Captial-Gazette's Eleanor Merrill and James Brown, center, swapped publications with Landmark Vice Chairman Richard F. Barry III.
The Captial-Gazette's Eleanor Merrill and James Brown, center, swapped publications with Landmark Vice Chairman Richard F. Barry III. (By J. Henson -- The Capital Via Associated Press)

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By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 26, 2007

An ownership shuffle announced yesterday at an Annapolis publishing company puts the Annapolis Capital newspaper in the hands of Norfolk's Landmark Communications and installs a new publisher at the helm of Washingtonian magazine.

Annapolis's Capital-Gazette Newspapers -- the business run by the late publisher Philip Merrill-- will transfer all ownership shares to Landmark, its longtime partner. Capital-Gazette Newspapers has stakes in the Annapolis Capital and other small papers in the area as well as in Washingtonian.

In the swap, Landmark gets full ownership of all of the newspapers and Merrill's widow, Eleanor Merrill, gets full ownership of Washingtonian. Their daughter, Catherine Merrill Williams, will be the magazine's new publisher. The changes will take place over the next few months, the companies said. Landmark has partnered with the Merrill family since 1975.

"With the death of founder and CEO Philip Merrill last summer, both parties have agreed that the loss was of a singularly unique individual able to oversee two very special businesses in two very different cities," Eleanor Merrill and Landmark said in a memo to employees yesterday. The statement said employees should expect no significant changes in day-to-day operations.

Landmark is a private, family-controlled company that owns the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, several smaller papers, the Weather Channel , two television stations and other properties.

Philip Merrill bought Washingtonian in 1979, and served as publisher and chairman until his death, except for periods when he was assistant secretary general of NATO and president of the Export-Import Bank.

Merrill's boat was found adrift in the Chesapeake Bay in June 2006, and his body was discovered nine days later. Medical examiners ruled Merrill died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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