The Washington Post Co. had "a very good year" in 1982, board Chairman Katharine Graham told stockholders at the company's annual meeting yesterday.
Earnings rose 60 percent, and the organization "cut costs" and "made significant progress in becoming a more professionally managed company," she said.
The Washington Post Co., which owns Newsweek magazine, the Everett (Wash.) Herald, four television stations and other subsidiaries, reported 1982 revenue of $800.8 million, an increase of 6 percent over 1981, and net income of $52.4 million, up 60 percent.
The company's agreement to acquire approximately 50 percent of SportsChannel Associates and 25 percent of New England SportsChannel, cable networks specializing in sports coverage, eventually should "contribute $10 million to $15 million in new earnings," Graham said.
All directors nominated by the Post management were elected by overwhelming margins. The only opposition consisted of 32 votes cast for Robert C. Maynard, a prominent black journalist who is publisher of the Oakland Tribune. He was nominated by a stockholder who questioned why the company's directors are all whites.
Most of the meeting was taken up by discussions not of the company's business results but of the journalistic practices of The Washington Post and Newsweek.
After a videotape of highlights of Newsweek's 50th anniversary celebration at New York's Lincoln Center was shown, a stockholder asked how much it cost to stage the event. Post Co. President Richard Simmons said the amount was "in excess of $3 million," but he said that, when advertising revenue from the magazine's special anniversary promotional edition was tabulated, the organization made a profit on the anniversary celebrations.
Arnaud deBorchgrave, former Newsweek senior editor, asked Graham whether any Newsweek senior editors had resigned, or been asked to resign, as a result of the magazine's cover story on the fraudulent diaries of Adolf Hitler, coverage that deBorchgrave called "a fiasco" and "a scandal."
Graham said "no resignations have been submitted or asked for."
Most of the remainder of the proceedings were dominated by questions from stockholders Reed Irvine, Lester Kinsolving and Evelyn Y. Davis.