City Desk

Post‘s Weymouth Could Make Many Millions in Stock Awards

Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth Could Get MillionsWashington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth was criticized last year by Post employees when it was revealed that she made over $2 million in 2010. Weymouth's salary decreased in 2011, as the paper prepared to offer buyouts to employees, but only by a little—she made $1.9 million.

For all the attention that has been given to Weymouth's salary, she could earn much, much more in the coming years if she makes her performance targets. According to an SEC filing made last week by the Post, Weymouth stands to receive as many as 42,500 shares in restricted stock awards by 2018 if she meets the goals. If the Post stays around its current stock price, at $363.51 when the market closed yesterday, that would be worth around $15.4 million.

This would represent a huge jump in Weymouth's stock awards. Since 2009, Weymouth has received a comparatively miniscule 7,500 shares.

Restricted stocks awards, in which stock is given outright to an employee, are different from stock options, which only give the recipient the option to buy shares at a set price.

It’s not clear what exactly  Weymouth needs to do to earn this windfall. A Post spokeswoman declined to answer questions about Weymouth’s performance goals and the restricted stock award, except by directing me to the company’s SEC filings.

It’s impossible to tell how much Weymouth’s share could be worth without knowing the Post’s stock price in 2018, of course. The Post keeping its value is a big assumption to make, though, since its stock has consistently lost value over the past few years. Even if the stock lost half of its value, though, as it did between 2007 and 2012, Weymouth stands to make over $7 million if she meets the goals.

Weymouth could even start earning on the shares before 2018. Some kinds of restricted stock earn dividends even before they’re vested, although it’s not clear whether Weymouth’s would. At the Post’s 2011 annual dividend rate of $9.40 per-share, Weymouth would stand to make $399,500 a year in dividends.

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  1. #1

    And it's a safe bet that the "performance targets" have been set by Kate herself and her Uncle Don.

    The Columbia Journalism Review writes that while the Post has aggressively shrunk its newsroom and reduced its content, it has squandered its money on dividends and stock buybacks that only benefit stockholders, most prominently the Graham family:

  2. #2

    Yah---just another overpaid executive. Talented people can be found for most executive ( or publisher) positions for a lot less.
    Of course, let's not even talk about the $32 million handout that DC Council seems preparded to give the Living Social website, in exchange for keeping a few measly tech jobs in the district...

  3. #3

    "..... Of course, let's not even talk about the $32 million handout that DC Council seems preparded to give the Living Social website, in exchange for keeping a few measly tech jobs in the district...."

    Let's note that these are not "tech" jobs, but mostly sales and marketing jobs, probably not very well-paid. Silicon Valley isn't moving to D.C. And the proposed legislation apparently contains no guarantee or requirement that even one of these jobs will go to a District resident. So the D.C. Council wants to give the Washington Post Company $32 million for what, exactly? The Post's demands border on blackmail: "If you don't pay up, who knows what might happen...?" Let L.S. leave town, and take the Post with it.

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