Black People : Will Ebony Magazine Die?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by cherryblossom, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    This month marks 64 years of Ebony Magazine, started in 1945; but there are financial woes that threaten its continuation.....


    Ebony Magazine, 1945-2009?
    MONDAY SEP 28, 2009 – BY SKY OBERCAM

    It appears as though the oldest magazine dedicated to “extolling African American achievement” is up for sale. Many publications have been hit hard by the economic downturn. Sadly, Ebony’s revenues have been on the decline far worse than most; this year their total ad pages dropped by 40 percent.

    Word is that Johnson’s Publishing CEO (and daughter of the late founder John H. Johnson) Linda Rice Johnson has approached investors as well as possible buyers for this historic magazine. Ebony is in “big, big trouble” as one particular publishing source told Newsweek. Allegedly, Mrs. Johnson Rice has met with no success in courting and securing a partner or potential buyer, leaving many wondering how the outcome will impact the African American community.

    According to Newsweek: “One publishing executive familiar with the situation said that Rice, given the magazine’s historical significance and its deep roots in her family, hopes to remain an integral part of it. This suggests she prefers to woo a partner rather than sell the magazine outright. In any case, a purchase by a mainstream media company or publisher [would] end African-American control.”

    Just as Viacom acquired BET, Ebony faces ownership of a massive corporate entity that is out of touch with its original mission, and completely uninterested in making progress within the community it’s meant to serve.
    Regardless, what would be the point of supporting a Black magazine under non-Black control? Perhaps it is time for Mrs. Johnson Rice to relinquish her control over the magazine, as her leadership may have contributed significantly to Ebony’s demise.

    Nothing lasts forever, but it would be tragic to witness a landmark resource created to uplift our community led by forces that have a penchant for undermining it. Ebony is an important piece of history for us; let’s hope that it will move its content and message into the future – under African American control.

    www.clutchmagazineonline.com
     
  2. kde

    kde Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ebony failed to produce quality, relevant and timely content for far too long. When they decided to "re-brand" themselves, it was a rather superficial reinvention all too late. I grew up with Ebony in the household and have been a subscriber for about a year - not out of real interest, but more so as a demonstration of support. The latest issue was just a few steps above a pamphlet in depth and, as usual, the content left much to be desired. It reminds me of Essence. For a while, Essence couldn't decide who they wanted to appeal to. They went from the real deal in the 80s-early 90s to talking loud and saying nothing - while rehashing the same topics over and over - before deciding they were going to target middle-class to upwardly mobile sisters who each month want to find out how to get a man and get out of debt.

    I let my Essence subscription die more than a year ago. Ebony will suffer the same fate in this household. Once an organ can no longer stay true to its mission or vision, once it does a disservice to that vision and mission, isn't it more humane to let it die a death with some modicum of dignity?
     
  3. HODEE

    HODEE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well said.
    Welcome to Destee kde
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    As for quality, yes, there's room for improvement.

    As for historic significance, I would truly hate to see it go to "them."
     
  5. kde

    kde Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I understand that point. I felt the same way about Essence, and I'm sure the change of hands has something to do with how vacuous and mindless the publication has become.

    That immediately made me think of this: If we (black folks in America) regard Ebony as such an institution, how come no black billionaires or millionares are stepping up to buy it? I haven't heard of anyone from that ilk expressing interest, not that I'm surprised. They are a "have" for a reason . . .
     
  6. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Truth!






    cherryblossom,

    A very significant question sister cherryblossom, which answer depends upon the recession and appears to be controlled by the Internet. After paying attention to the declining newspaper industry, as well; in my view, any media that fails to place stock, if you will, in having a prominent cyberspace presence on the world wide web, is doomed.

    It seems that Essence made its move into high Internet activity at a time when Ebony lost sight of the necessity to do likewise. Unless the economy can generate more advertising for the troubled magazine industry, and/or Ebony finds a suitable partner, what we have grown to accept and enjoy as so-called Black news, may sadly disappear.

    Peace In my sister friend.


     
  7. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    I agree with clyde and think it will crumble do to the lack of not getting out there in
    the network of internet where billions of readers has gone .
    yes they will suffer deeper finance problems less some group or blacks with money
    come in a buy it turn it around , it will be just a legendary historical Magazine that
    once carried black news and our struggle to greatness and uplifting goals we made

    It's my hope that it live a longer life ................
     
  8. RAPTOR

    RAPTOR Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    kde,

    You are on point.

    Its dependence on white elite financing and advertising revenues, ebony, major black media in general, fears
    provoking their white financial backers/advertisers, so they don't speak of critical issues relevant to the black nation.

    Wilson was correct with what he said regarding major black media outlets like ebony: "Controversial issues a superficially treated when
    dealt with at rare instances and are carefully and inoffensively "balanced". They are carefull not to take any editorial position which can
    be interpreted as black nationalistic or afrocentric in orientation".

    This is why creating community economic wealth is important. That way ebony and the like won't have to depend on folks whose interest
    is not our interest.

    In the 1950's and 1960's ebony was on it. For at that time many of the publications of ebony followed the traditions of freedman's journal,
    chicago defender and the like who kept their finger on the pulse of the black nation.

    Even if ebony delved into the cyber world as a means of saving money, so long as the content placates to the "middle-class to upwardly mobile"
    a.k.a black bourgeoisie, I opine, that it will still fail, or continue to be a joke to say the least.
     
  9. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Yes, hopefully, some of the "Haves" will step up to help out until they can get out of this economic slump.

    Also, for the first time, they canceled the Ebony Fashion Show this year.

    So, obviously, the JOHNSON PUBLISHING COMPANY and other holdings is in some dire financial straits.
     
  10. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa and Truth!




    Thanks for the support Bro. $$RICH$$, if it weren't for your response, I couldn't tell that anyone read what I had to say:). Now think about this Brother, suppose we were in shape to purchase Ebony, wow, we are talking about creating a Destee.com Magazine anyway.

    That's just food for thought $$RICH$$, remember, our own Sister SeekingMaat suggested we do a magazine, lol; and we are the Black People's choice for information on the Internet, which has been an Icon for twelve (12) years now ( I can still see Sister Destee's picture in the Essence magazine, I know you can too Rich)...Peace In my brother friend, for real!

     
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