Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ebony Magazine May Live After All!
Amy DuBois Barnett Named New Editor-In-Chief

Ebony magazine may no longer be your grandparents' magazine. The powers-that-be at Johnson Publishing made, what I believe, an excellent decision and hired Amy DuBois Barnett as their new editor-in-chief. Barnett was the deputy editor-in-chief for Harper's Bazaar. Prior to that position, she became the first African-American woman to head a mainstream magazine when she took on the role as managing editor of Teen People. She helped that magazine takeoff online and on the newsstands. But that's not the only reason why I like Barnett. She's young and she knows both journalism AND new media. Barnett can draw a new generation of readers to Ebony. Did I mention she was editor-in-chief of Honey magazine back in the day? My hip hop fly readers remember Honey.

There's another reason why I like Barnett. A few years ago I produced an interview with Barnett when she was promoting her book Get Yours: How to Have Everything You Ever Dreamed of and More. It's a great book for young woman pursuing their goals. Barnett shares her own struggles of dealing with the loss of her mother at a young age, battles with weight loss, and being a journalist and woman of color. I've read that book so many times and still turn to it today.

I'm excited for Ebony's future. I didn't want the magazine to go under because John Johnson paved the way for people like me to go into journalism. I even sent emails to the company with ideas of how they could save the magazine. The magazine needs a serious rebirth. Big Mama and Paw Paw aren't going to be around forever to read Ebony. The editors need to market to a newer generation. Cut down on the fluff pieces, do some investigative reporting and put other people on the cover aside from the Obamas and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Good choice Linda Johnson Rice. Can't wait to subscribe again after all of these years.

One more thing...
They must really be seeing the light at the Johnson offices in Chicago because Desiree Rogers was hired to be a consultant
"to assist with corporate strategy," says an Ebony spokesperson. Another good pick. Ebony may thrive again. I'm keeping my reporter's pads crossed.

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