For Michael Gibson and Willard Jackson everything they needed was in place.
Seven decades as a vanguard for the African American community? Check.
A media company equipped with the staff and management they wanted? Check.
Positioning to take advantage of emerging digital platforms for growth? Check.
So when their company, the Austin, Tex.-based Clear View Group LLC acquired EBONY Magazine, EBONY.com, and JETMag.com in May, the decision was a no-brainer.
“EBONY’s always been a part of our families, so it had always been an attraction,” said Gibson, 59, who serves as board chair of the new Ebony Media company. “But this opportunity was introduced to us…and it didn’t take us very long to make the decision that this was something unique, it’s the most iconic image in the African American community and it’s a platform that we think is really important for us and all of our community.”
John Harold Johnson (January 19, 1918 – August 8, 2005) was an American businessman and publisher. He was the founder of the Johnson Publishing Company. In 1982, he became the first African American to appear on the Forbes 400. Johnson’s Ebony and Jet magazines were among the most influential African-American businesses in media in the second half of the twentieth century.
Johnson Publishing Company also has a book division and employs more than 2,600 people, with sales of over $388 million. In addition, Johnson Publishing owns Fashion Fair Cosmetics (the world’s number one makeup and skin care company for women of color), and Supreme Beauty products (hair care for men and women), and is involved in television production and produces the Ebony Fashion Fair (the world’s largest traveling fashion show), which has donated over $47 million to charity. The show visits more than 200 cities in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. In 2010, the Noble Network of Charter Schools and Chicago Public Schools opened Johnson College Prep High School, a public charter high school in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood in honor of Johnson and his wife Eunice W. Johnson. On January 31, 2012, the United States Postal Service honored John H. Johnson with a commemorative stamp as the newest addition to its Black Heritage Series. The School of Communications at Howard University was to be named in his honor but instead, the $4 million donation was used to endow a chair in entrepreneurship. (Wikipedia).