EBONY magazine, which has been in circulation for more than 50 years, is being forced into involuntary bankruptcy as lenders claim debts remain unpaid.
According to The Grio, creditors of the publication are pushing for a Texas federal court to force the Black brand into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a rare move but one the creditors deem necessary. Multiple petitions say Ebony Media Holdings L.L.C., “is generally not paying its debts as they become due, unless they are the subject of a bonafide dispute as to liability or amount.”
Three companies are pushing for the bankruptcy. Houston-based Parkview Capital Credit claims to be owed $11.9 million, California-based David M. Abner & Associates claim a debt of $9,400 and New York-based Plum Studio claims to be owed $2,300.
EBONY, which has been in circulation since its first issue was released in November 1945, has been in financial trouble for a while. Last July, the magazine sold its iconic photo archive for $30 million. Earlier this month, it replaced CEO Willard Jackson after a financial investigation into his transactions.
EBONY posted a statement in May saying they are proud of their work showcasing Black culture and news over the last 75 years.
“In 1945 EBONY was launched to create visibility for Black Americans, who were invisible in the white press at the time — unless they committed crimes. Seventy-five years later, we are proud to continue to bring an authoritative perspective on the multidimensional Black community and serve as a catalyst for reflection and progression.”
EBONY and JET magazines were sold in 2016 to the company now facing bankruptcy. The filing “was an attempt to re-position the company’s iconic assets, including the EBONY and JET brands, for long-term success,” Parkview Capital Credit said in a statement to The Root.
EBONY has had a litany of Black celebrities on the cover of its magazine including Oprah Winfrey, Prince, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay-Z, and the Obamas.