Ebony and Jet magazines, which have chronicled African-American life for the past 71 years, have been sold to a private equity firm based in Austin, Texas.
Johnson Publishing Co. announced Tuesday that Ebony and digital-only Jet were sold to Clear View Group but didn’t disclose the sale price.
“This deal allows JPC to reduce its debt associated with the media business and focus its attention on the archives- and continue to invest in it’s cosmetics business, Fashion Fair Cosmetics,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “Fashion Fair Cosmetics is currently the only African American owned prestige cosmetics company specifically developed for women of color.”
“Desiree Rogers will continue as CEO of JPC focusing her time on Fashion Fair Cosmetics,” the spokeswoman added.
The Chicago Tribune reports Johnson Publishing will retain its Ebony photo archive, which is for sale.
Ebony magazine, founded by John Johnson, first hit the newsstands in 1945. It has been hit by declining circulation and revenues in recent years.
Johnson’s daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, will serve as chairman emeritus on the board of the new company, Ebony Media Operations.
“This is the next chapter in retaining the legacy that my father, John H. Johnson, built to ensure the celebration of African Americans. I am pleased to continue as Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company and serve as Chairman Emeritus and member of the board of the new African American led media entity, Ebony Media Operations,” Johnson Rice said in an emailed statement.
Clear View Group chairman Michael Gibson says the company will retain its Chicago headquarters and much of its staff.
Contributing: Maudlyne Ihejirika