Why Ebony Magazine is still important to Me.
Ebony was founded by John H. Johnson in 1945. The name of the magazine was created by Johnson's wife, Eunice Walker Johnson, in reference to the dark wood.
July 2020, the magazine sold its iconic photo archive for $30 million and has a new owner former NBA star "Junior" Bridgeman who has a history of business success. As the CEO of Manna Inc., the holding company for his franchise empire of quick-service restaurants, he’s a longtime member of the BE 100s. Bridgeman, who once played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers, had tried to purchase sports magazine Sports Illustrated back in 2018.
Eden Bridgeman Sklenar, Brideman's daughter has served as owner of EBONY and JET since 2021 and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Manna Inc since 2017.
She also manages the “Trifecta” black-tie fundraising event, too. The gala event brings together A-list Black celebrities prior to the annual Kentucky Derby.
In 2017, 50 freelance writers created a social media campaign #EbonyOwes due to not being paid by the magazines' former owner, Clear View Group. In response Clear View Group did make an effort to pay 11 of the 50 writers $18,000, concluding with only 3 being paid in full. In late-2017, the remaining writers with the help of The National Writers Union filed case against Clear View Group and Ebony Media Operations.
The remaining writers finally settled their lawsuit with the company in February 2018. The magazine owners came to an agreement that all unpaid invoices would be compensated in four quarterly payments by the end of 2018. In October 2018, the magazines' owner missed its third quarter payment and another lawsuit was filed in November 2018. Clear View Group then made the final payment due to the writers in December 2018
The New Ebony
Michele Ghee, was tapped to relaunch Ebony and Jet, taking over as chief executive after the publications’ purchase out of bankruptcy.
Ghee is a media Titan and has generated millions of dollars, created multicultural business practices, implemented diversity and inclusion tactics and created new business strategies at some of the largest media companies in the world.
They hired three former Ebony/Jet employees who understand the history of the brand and will use a coterie of freelancers to fill out the website. They also hired a social media expert to ensure the brands get seen on social media.