Ebony and Jet magazines have a history of both being staples in the black households. Now they will continue the tradition under a new publisher.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Johnson Publishing has agreed to sell Ebony and Jet to Clear View Group, an Austin, Texas-based private equity group. While the publications’ Chicago headquarters and New York editorial locations will remain, the acquisition signals some new direction.
“We made this purchase because this is an iconic brand — it’s the most-recognized brand in the African-American community,” said Michael Gibson, co-founder and chairman of Clear View Group. “We just think this is a great opportunity for us.”
Multiple parties involved assure the public that Clear View will maintain Ebony and Jet‘s staff as it moves on to grow their digital presence while maintaining content in print to remain true to its brand.
“When we make an investment, that’s what we look for — a strong team that can actually run the company,” Gibson said of the African-American owned equity firm. “We’re not managers or experts by any stretch of imagination in the media business. What we bring to the table is very strong networking and the ability to raise financing and the ability to establish a vision for the company.”
Cheryl McKissack will move from her current role as COO to become CEO while Kyra Kyles will become editor-in-chief of Ebony following Kierna Mayo’s decision to step down.
“This is the next chapter in retaining the legacy that my father, John H. Johnson, built to ensure the celebration of African-Americans,” said Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing. Johnson Rice will serve as chairman emeritus on the board of the new company.
Photo Credit: Ebony Magazine