Update: Ebony, Jet Orders Reorganization to Avoid Layoffs

Johnson Publishing Co. employees told to reapply for jobs


“If you look at the overall industry and what is being done to maintain jobs and maintain the bottom line, what is happening at Ebony and Jet is not unusual,” says Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists. “We are seeing downsizings, pay freezes, and hiring freezes throughout the industry. We can’t hold up Ebony as the sacred cow that does not have some of the same issues regarding the economy as any other media entity.”

One account from Richard Prince’s Maynard Institute blog Journal-isms reports that Lynn A. Norment, Walter Leavy, and Malcolm West, three of the four managing editors at Ebony and Jet, are accepting buyout offers. Jackson would not confirm or deny that these individuals accepted buyouts, but affirmed that out of the 340 full-time employees, some did opt to participate in a voluntary early retirement package that the company offered in 2008 as one of the early initiatives of the multi-phase reorganization.

Ciara cautions all publishing companies to be strategic about whom they let go. “When you look at those salaries, [editors at the top] are an easy kill if you are looking to eliminate the most money from your budget,” Ciara says. “You have to ask yourself the value that those people bring to the development of your product and whether it is worth it to sacrifice them for plain economic reasons knowing that you still have a publication to put out. I hope that with whatever restructuring is happening that the content will remain a priority.”

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  • Companies often overlook streamlining outdated processes and procedures and revolutionizing how they incorporate technology to get things done faster and with less people. It’s especially apparent when you have people who have been in jobs for years working the same inefficient way they always have.

  • How can I link to this site on my blog?

  • Hmmmm

    Hmmmm…I wonder how long a magazine dedicated strickly for WHITE people would be tolerated? You know the AMERICAN-Americans instead of all the AFRICAN-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Japaneses-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and all the others out there. (If you have to put some other country in front of America to feel like you belong, then you are not an American at all the way I see it. You see, I am an AMERICAN of Cherokee descent but first and foremost, I am AMERICAN!!) But for some reason there is some kind of uproar about these magazines for BLACK people? Surely there shouldn’t be any such comparison though. “IVORY” would be a catchy name, now wouldn’t it? This is a such a “non-issue” it is laughable.

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  • To the person who commented that this was such a “non-issue that it is laughable”:
    Ebony and Jet are not just for black people, it’s about black people; their interests, their community, their businesses as well as black leaders, people/information that can help them achieve a decent life. AFRICAN is not put in front of ‘Americans’ to make us feel more American. The whipped backs and blood of our ancesters that built this country gave us that right.You ask how long a ‘white only’ magazine would be tolerated…well probably as long as ‘white only’ bathrooms, resturants, hospitals, schools, etc lasted….until the law prohibited it!You mention Chinese, Japanese, and Native Americans, but fail to make the destinction of just who was brought to this country in chains against their will, enslaved and murdered if they even tried to learn to read or write. Yes, you ignorant ass, it IS a big deal!

  • i apologize for referring to someone as ‘ignorant ass’. That was uncalled for and ignorant on my part

  • “You see, I am an AMERICAN of Cherokee descent but first and foremost, I am AMERICAN!!” It is interesting that you are of Native American descent, given all that your people have suffered to BE Americans that you don’t seem to understand the need for awareness and the acknowledgement of the heritage of the individual, all individuals. For within that uniqueness we all find our sameness and commonality that breaks down barriers of racism and ignorance. So yes, these publications need to survive along with any publication that celebrates the various cultures of the diverse peoples of the world.


    It seems that the Company have been having some sort of problems for awhile..It has always been THE BEST that it could be for as long as I can remember but when staff,ideas,and round table discussions are not as important as they once were….YOU WILL LOSS SOMETHING….I will continue to support the magazines as well as Fahion Fair makeup…….

  • I feel that more creative ways need to be developed to get more participation from potential clients of ad space. Here is my detailed response http://hubpages.com/hub/Black-Business-Builders-Ad-Coop-May-Hold-Solution-to-Magazine-Ad-Revenue-Woes

  • I WOULD LIKE to advertise my website in your magazine. what is the cost ?

  • Kevin

    What is laughable, is you have a person who thinks that the uproar over Jet and Ebony magazines is a non-issue. To me, this person is just too ignorant of a person to at least take a look at what these magazines mean to many in the black community. Sure the world is becoming more diverse, however, does that mean, black people should not be able to celebrate themselves? Of course not. We, as a people, should be able to celebrate ourselves, regardless of this person’s opinion.

  • Donna Ford-Dortch

    To the publishers of Ebony:

    May be ads have been your driving force in the past, however content is what is happening today.

    Filling your magazines with information people can use… Im sure will increase sales.



    Make room for those who have been struggling to be discovered. Those who have made it don’t need anymore exposure.

    Donna Ford-Dortch
    The Majestic

  • P.M. Azinga

    I live & work in Beijing,China. Obama has accepted an invitation from Hu JinTao to visit China?

    Need a reporter to cover the story?

  • Raymond Butler

    I find it interesting that a discussion about ethnicity and the political correctness of words used to describe a people remains relevant and unchanged. In order to affect real change in the way we describe ourselves is to lobby for change in the application process that would define a national identity. By this I mean, when required to complete any City, State, or Government form we should demand that the options be stated as American or non-American. It would be the first step to change thinking in America. Unfortunately, the idea presented will not work because most white Americans want politically, socially, and economically to be identified as a separate group as a whole. Has anyone heard the term “Irish-American, German-American, Native-American, etc. These are word identifiers that others feel quite comfortable with. Yet I often hear of Black-American speak proudly of having a mixture of Indian blood, but few ever have done anything to support the American Indian, nor have many of these individuals – not all – have ever visited an Indian reservation, or know one Native American language. Of course, this is strictly my personal opinion, and fodder for thought.

  • Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it’s nice to know that someone else also mentioned this as I had trouble finding the same info elsewhere. This was the first place that told me the answer. Thanks

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  • I have not been this excited and motivated by a post for quite some time! Keep up the great job. Keep on inspiring the people!

  • Bielizna

    First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!

  • Angus

    That is Wonderful! Thank you so much.

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