Ebony and Jet to Reorganize Staff - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

august2008ebonycover_edited-1Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co. announced Ebony and JET magazines will be undergoing a reorganization which will require all current employees to reapply for their jobs.

“Reshaping our organizational design will help ensure that we continue to evolve with the ever-changing media landscape,” said Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman & CEO at the Chicago-based company.

The company would not give specific details about the reorganization, including what positions will be eliminated and employees who will be leaving the company.

The changes are being put into place to continue the 67-year-old company’s “long-term success and ensure [its] future as the entire publishing industry navigates the tumultuous economic climate.”

Year-on-year, ad revenue at Ebony fell by 18.8% and by 40.9% at JET for the fourth quarter of 2008. Among ethnic media, Johnson Publishing is not alone in the washout. The men’s hip-hop magazine XXL let go its editor-in-chief, Elliot Wilson. Revenue decreased at Vibe Magazine by 15.2%, by 22.2% at Essence Magazine.

Circulation at Ebony, a monthly general interest magazine, increased by 3.5%, and circulation at Jet, a weekly news magazine that covers entertainment, news, and lifestyle stories of interest to African Americans, rose 2.2% through the first half of 2008.  Their numbers were slightly better than the industry as a whole, which was flat for the same period, according to Neal Lulofs, senior vice president of communications at the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Separately, Jackson says that Bryan Monroe is still employed with Johnson as vice president and editorial director for Ebony and Jet magazines, contrary to reports by other news outlets that his position had been eliminated.

Join the Conversation

Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

MORE ON BlackEnterprise.com