The former U.S. chief of protocol in the Nixon and Ford administrations, Henry Catto, and his wife Jessica have purchased the Washington Journalism Review, the last remaining independent journalism magazine in the country.

The Cattos announced expansion plans for the two-year-old publication, including a new monthly publication schedule beginning in January.

The magazine's owner and founder, Roger Kranz, 29, will retain the title of publisher, which he has held while directing publication of eight editions since September 1977.

Jessica Catto, whose father William Hobby was once governor of Texas and whose mother was Oveda Culp Hobby, the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, is also the sister of the present lieutenant governor of Texas and president of the Houston Post, William Hobby Jr.

The new company will be known as Washington Communications Corp. Henry Catto will be chairman, while Jessica Catto will serve as president and chief operating officer.

The new owners, who signed the papers on the deal over the weekend, have already announced that Washingtonian Magazine advertising sales representative Holly Martin has been hired to serves as WJR's new ad director, and that editor Ray White will retain his job.

The owners would not disclose what they paid Kranz for the magazine, but it was learned that they agreed to pay off an estimated $50,000 in debt that was on the books.

Jessica Catto said she was looking forward to "discussing the problems of the media itself, and some that it may cause."