Dr. Boyce Watkins; Ebony/Jet Magazine Sells Out, Last Black-Owned Media Giant…
One of the last holdouts in the onslaught of major corporations seeking to take over the black-owned media space was the Johnson Publishing Company, which runs Ebony and Jet Magazines. As Essence Magazine, BET and other outlets found themselves running into the arms of a financial white knight, the Johnson family fought hard to maintain its independence. That quest was hindered when it was recently announced that JP Morgan Chase has bought a substantial stake in the company.
The announcement of the partnership represents the end of a 69-year period during which the company was family-owned. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, leading some to wonder why the owners want to keep the numbers a secret. My guess is that pride is playing a role in the secrecy, like a proud father who doesn’t tell his children that he borrowed money from the neighbors in order to pay the light bill.