Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Major African American Publications in Financial Trouble...huge layoffs & cuts to come?

News flash fam! According to Media Takeout....Serious trouble is brewing at the offices of Vibe Magazine AND over at Johnson Publications (parent company of Ebony & Jet Magazine).

Check out the articles below: has been hearing for months that Vibe Magazine is having financial problems. Yesterday the website Gawker posted this message:

A tipster tells us the atmosphere is tense at the Vibe offices—"they may not have enough money to print the March issue" because of a lack of ads

Executives from the Wicks Group (Private Equity Owners) came to the office on Friday and met with CEO Steve Aaron and Publisher Edgar Hernandez. Things around the office are very tense.

The tipster says that more meetings are scheduled for this afternoon. And they say that the only ads Vibe has booked for the March issue are "Army, Carson Soft Sheen & Jamster"—not even a fifth of the usual number of ads.
EDITOR'S Update - Vibe issued the following response:
"Any reports that VIBE is having problems printing the upcoming March issue are untrue. In fact, VIBE is releasing its annual "Style" issue featuring Grammy nominated singer Keyshia Cole with two different covers which will hit newsstands everywhere on February 17th.

We will also be issuing a press release within the next two weeks with news about VIBE's continued growth and expansion which includes new staff hires and promotions." Edgar Hernandez, Publisher of VIBE Media Group.


The largest African American owned publication is going through a new reorganization which is unsettling a number of its workers. Here’s how the popular website Journal-isms is reporting things:
A major reorganization is under way at Johnson Publishing Co., publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines, in which Editorial Director Bryan Monroe has seen his job eliminated and he and others have been told they may reapply for jobs at the company, Johnson employees told Journal-isms.

Monroe is eligible to apply for one of the newly created executive editor jobs at Ebony, the monthly, or Jet, the weekly pocket-sized newsmagazine, employees said.
And there’s more:
Ad pages were down 22 percent at Ebony and 43.1 percent at Jet last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. Jet magazine has been combining issues once a month and calling each a "special double issue." Freelancers continue to complain about not being paid…. The mood at the Chicago-based company ranges from "fear and apprehension" among longtime employees to "wait-and-see" among the newer hires, one employee said.

Hmmm....I don't know if at this point in time I would take a "Wait & See" attitude. Publishing actual PRINT publications appear to being going the way of the "Dodo" as more and more folks are turning to the web for news and entertainment. I worked in publishing for 20 years....."Restructuring" or "Reorganizing" are NEVER good words to hear. It ALWAYS means a lot of folks will be losing their jobs.......Better start updating those resumes and hit the pavement running looking for new jobs....RIGHT NOW!!

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