Ebony Said to Be Rejuvenated Under New Owner

White House Denies Keeping Dossiers on Journalists

Trump Blasts Leaks, but Not What Leaks Uncovered

Number of U.S. Hate Groups Near Historic High

Vogue Model Sorry for Appearing in ‘Yellowface’

Andrea Valdez Named Editor of Wired.com

Trump Cuts Could Silence Tribal Radio Stations

No, We Are Not Just ‘A Nation of Immigrants’

In Chicago Complex, Police Should Be Everywhere

Short Takes

Linda Johnson Rice, of Johnson Publishing Co., visited Harvard University two weeks ago to discuss Ebony's business dilemma. (Credit: Keith Bedford/Boston Globe)

Linda Johnson Rice of Johnson Publishing Co.,  left, visited Harvard University two weeks ago to discuss Ebony’s business dilemma. (Credit: Keith Bedford/Boston Globe)

Ebony Said to Be Rejuvenated Under New Owner

A rejuvenated Ebony magazine is considering reviving its Jet sibling as a newsstand product for millennials. It plans to publish more special single-themed issues for newsstand consumption and is branching out to stage special events as it seeks ways to extend the brand.

Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co. and daughter of founder John H. Johnson, outlined some of those plans two weeks ago before students at Harvard Business School who used Ebony as a case study in dilemmas facing black businesses. Rice, facing what was described as a “perfect storm” of bad news, sold the company to an African American-owned Texas firm in 2015 but remains chairman emeritus on the board of the new company.

Steve Rogers, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School who is African American, brought in Rice for his new course, “Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship.”

After Rice described the new company’s plans, Rogers told Journal-isms by telephone on Tuesday, “The students stood up and gave her a standing ovation. . . . all of us wanted to make investments.”

Among the plans, confirmed in an email Wednesday from Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, CEO of the renamed Ebony Media:

  • “We are considering repositioning Jet for millennials with a focus on entertainment and having limited newsstand publication ..much more digital content,” McKissack wrote. After 63 years, the pocket-sized Jet was converted to digital-only in 2014. Little has been heard from it since. The operation would be based in California, Rogers said.
  • Ebony has launched partnerships with such high-visibility firms as the Apple technology company. “Apple is an advertising client and we partnered with them in 2016 for an Apple/Ebony Black Hollywood Oscar event,” McKissack said. “This event honored the best Black films of 2016.”
  • Producing special-interest issues that are not so dependent on advertising revenue. In December, Ebony published a commemorative edition on the Obamas that sold for $10.99. McKissack said the company was committed to five additional projects, the second of which will be on newsstands March 14. She said she could not disclose the subject matter.
  • Adding blue-chip advertisers. “We continue to expand our advertisers which include blue chip accounts as well as adding broadcast to our events,” McKissack said. “For example, we expect to add a broadcast component to our 2017 Power 100 event. We are offering our clients 360 [degree] programs which include print, digital, events and activation. Our participation at SXSW, Power 100 are examples of these offerings.” The latter are references to the huge South by Southwest festival held annually in Austin, Texas, and the “Ebony Power 100” event, held last year in Los Angeles, honoring “the world’s most inspiring African Americans.”
  • Hosting events at the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. “We just honored the impact of HBCU’s [historically black colleges and universities] on Pro Football with an event over Super Bowl weekend” in Houston, McKissack said. “We provided a special recognition for Troy Vincent, EVP of football operations for his contributions both on and off the field. We had over 1,500 attendees!”

The Ebony case study was part of a larger effort at Harvard Business School, as Deirdre Fernandes reported Saturday for the Boston Globe.

They are arguably the most influential reference works in the field of business management: Harvard Business School’s case studies,” Fernandes wrote.

“From factory working conditions to the cola wars and the sharing economy, the graduate school has over decades published thousands of deep-dive studies into how businesses tackle their toughest challenges — research that’s aimed at teaching MBA candidates what works and how decisions are made.

“Yet as central as these case studies are at Harvard and business schools around the country, they’ve been missing a key element . . .  the stories of African-American executives.

“Rogers, who has taught at Harvard for five years, estimates that less than 1 percent of the school’s approximately 10,000 studies features a black executive — even as 9 percent of US firms are now black-owned.

“His goal is to change that, one study at a time.

Steve Rogers (Credit: Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe)

Steve Rogers (Credit: Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe)

“. . . Rogers has written 14 new case studies with black executives in the central decision-making role, or, in HBS-speak, as the protagonist. He is using many of these case studies this semester in his own class, ‘Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship,’ the first to have such a focus at Harvard. And Rogers is encouraging other professors at the nation’s leading business school to include more diverse voices in their own curriculum. . . .”

All 45 students in the class, originally planned for 21, are black. Rogers said students from other races could benefit.

The case: “Linda [Johnson Rice] became a CEO in 2002,” Rogers said in a podcast.

By 2015 she was faced with the challenge of where to take this company, and the reason was because the entire industry had collapsed, combined with the fact that the economy was in a recession, the greatest recession since the World War II.

“As a result of that, advertisers were pulling back. Advertisers were putting their money in the internet, advertising on the internet. Then Linda also became aware of the fact that advertisers were paying her a rate that’s significantly less than what they were paying white media companies for the same number of viewers. It was sort of what we call in the black community, she was experiencing the black tax.

“It’s kind of ironic that in 2015 she was experiencing it, the same as her father experienced it 70 years earlier. Linda was faced with this great challenge . . . at a time when media companies are dying, they’re being destroyed, Newsweek was sold for one dollar. All the periodicals, all the media companies were facing this crisis, and Linda was no different. The case focuses on what should Linda, as any brilliant business woman would have to do, what should she do? . . .”

The options were shutting the magazine down, on the theory that news about African Americans can now be found in mainstream publications; keeping the publication but turning it around with more fundraising; retaining Ebony but partnering with other companies who could supply more revenue; or licensing the name to others.

The students decided that the publication, founded in 1945 and a key chronicler of the civil rights movement, had a legacy too valuable to sacrifice. They settled on a combination of options.

Despite competition from mainstream publications, “There is no other periodical that has as its objective the uplift and the happiness of the black community,” Rogers said.

Omarosa Manigaul , watches during a meeting with parents and teachers at the White House on Tuesday. (Credit: Jabin Botsford/Washington Post)

Omarosa Manigault watches during a meeting with parents and teachers at the White House on Tuesday. (Credit: Jabin Botsford/Washington Post)

White House Denies Keeping Dossiers on Journalists

Trump administration communications official Omarosa Manigault added fuel to her war of words with April Ryan, a longtime White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks, by producing a recording of an exchange between the two last week in the White House press office, Dylan Byers reported Tuesday for CNNMoney.

In separate interviews with CNNMoney, Ryan and Manigault offered contradicting accounts about what had taken place during the confrontation. Most notably, Ryan said Manigault had physically and verbally intimidated her and claimed that the White House had ‘dossiers’ of negative information on her and other journalists. (Ryan also made these claims to the The Washington Post earlier.)

“Manigault accused Ryan of lying and said she had never claimed to have any ‘dossiers.’ She also offered CNNMoney an incomplete and at times inaudible recording of the exchange that had been taped by a White House staffer who began recording once the exchange grew heated.

” ‘We have a recording of the exchange and she blatantly lied,’ Manigault said.

“Like Manigault, the White House denies keeping any dossiers on reporters. ‘That is absolutely not true,’ White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during his briefing Tuesday. ‘There are no dossiers being kept.’

“The 4-minute recording Manigault provided to CNNMoney does not include any mention of dossiers, but much of the recording is drowned out by cable television and background chatter and some of the confrontation is clearly not included in the recording.

“Ryan stood by her claim and said Manigault’s remarks about the dossiers was either not included in the recording or edited out.

“The two women were formerly friends. But Ryan said their friendship ended in October when Manigault accused Ryan of being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That accusation, which Ryan vehemently denies, appears to be based on Manigault’s misreading of an Intercept article about Clinton’s relationship with the press (the article does not state that Ryan is paid by the Clinton campaign). Manigault nevertheless made the allegation again during their confrontation at the White House.

“Both women said the confrontation started in or near Spicer’s office, with Ryan accusing Manigault of telling the press secretary not to call on her in the daily press briefings. . . .”

Among the witnesses were White House press office staffers and a Washington Post reporter, Abby Phillip, Paul Farhi reported Monday in the Post.

Trump Blasts Leaks, but Not What Leaks Uncovered

President Trump has a new opponent: A gusher of leaks from anonymous sources hinting at nefarious collusion with Russia and painting a picture of a White House in crisis,” Brian Stelter reported Wednesday for CNNMoney.

“Trump is questioning the motivations of the leakers and accusing the ‘fake news media’ of ‘going crazy.’ But he’s not refuting the accuracy of the reporting by CNN, The New York Times or The Washington Post.

“With his own gusher of tweets, Trump is trying to reframe the story. ‘The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!’ he wrote Wednesday.

“He stayed on the topic later in the day at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

” ‘From intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked,’ Trump said. ‘It’s a criminal action, criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time before me, but now it’s really going on. And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.’

“Newsrooms, for understandable reasons, are focusing on the actual allegations at hand. . . .”

Number of U.S. Hate Groups Near Historic High

The number of hate groups operating in the country in 2016 remained at near-historic highs, rising from 892 in 2015 to 917 last year,” according to the latest count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, reported Wednesday. “That’s only about 100 fewer organizations than the 1,018 tallied in 2011, which was the all-time high in some 30 years of SPLC counts.

“And the numbers undoubtedly understate the real level of organized hatred in America. In recent years, growing numbers of right-wing extremists operate mainly in cyberspace until, in some cases, they take action in the real world. Dylann Roof, who was convicted late last year of the racist murder of nine black churchgoers, is an example of that — he had no real-world contact with hate groups before deciding, based on propaganda he read on the Internet, that it was time to start a race war.

“By far the most dramatic change was the enormous leap in anti-Muslim hate groups, from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year — a 197% increase. But that explosion was not unexpected. Anti-Muslim hate has been expanding rapidly for more than two years now, driven by radical Islamist attacks including the June mass murder of 49 people at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub, the unrelenting propaganda of a growing circle of well-paid ideologues, and the incendiary rhetoric of [Donald J.] Trump — his threats to ban Muslim immigration, mandate a registry of Muslims in America, and more.

The Muslim-bashing had consequences. Last October, three members of a militia-like group called the Crusaders were arrested and charged with plotting to blow up an apartment complex in Kansas where 120 Somali Muslim immigrants live. The attack was reportedly set for Nov. 9, the day after Election Day. . . .”

Supermodel Karlie Kloss in Vogue's Japanese-themed spread.

Supermodel Karlie Kloss in Vogue’s Japanese-themed spread.

Vogue Model Sorry for Appearing in ‘Yellowface’

Supermodel Karlie Kloss tweeted an apology early Wednesday after her latest photo shoot drew accusations of cultural appropriation on social media,” Lakshmi Gandhi reported Wednesday for NBC News Asian America.

“In a multi-page spread titled ‘Spirited Away’ in Vogue’s March 2017 issue, Kloss is styled wearing a glossy black wig and geisha-inspired makeup. Taken throughout Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park, the photo series features Kloss wearing a selection of kimonos, posing with a sumo wrestler, and walking to a Japanese tea house. . . .”

The gaffe wasn’t in just any edition of Vogue.

For real, Vogue?Phil Yu wrote Tuesday in his Angry Asian Man blog. “A photo shoot featuring a white model as a geisha? In the so-called ‘diversity’ issue, no less. . . .

“The spread, photographed in Japan by Mikael Jansson and styled by Phyllis Posnick, features Kloss in what is pretty much yellowface, going full geisha in various photos shot around Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park. They’ve got Kloss in thick black hair, pale skin and kimono-like attire, posed in various Japanese-y backgrounds. There’s even a friggin’ sumo wrestler for bonus stereotypical Japanese-ness. . . .”

Vogue representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Andrea Valdez Named Editor of Wired.com

Andrea Valdez

Andrea Valdez (Credit: Jeff Wilson)

Andrea Valdez has been named editor of Wired.com,” Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke reported Wednesday for wwd.com.

“Wired’s new editor in chief Nicholas Thompson poached Valdez from Texas Monthly, where she was, most recently, the editor of that magazine’s web site. Valdez started working at the Austin-based magazine as a fact-checker two days after graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2006.

“An advice column she wrote for the magazine that gave tips on necessary Texan life skills was turned into a book, ‘How to Be a Texan: The Manual,’ last year.

“Thompson said of Valdez: ‘She’s done everything we’d want a web editor to have done: fact-check, edit, assign, manage, coordinate social media and edit a superb web site. She’s also just fun to talk to, and I can’t wait for her to start.’

“Thompson won’t have to wait too long — Valdez’s first day at Wired’s San Francisco office is March 13. This hire is the first big appointment by Thompson, who took the over as editor in chief at the Condé Nast tech magazine at the end of January. . . .”

Valdez is Mexican-American, she told Journal-isms.

Trump Cuts Could Silence Tribal Radio Stations

We need to talk about the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” Tristan Ahtone wrote Tuesday for Al Jazeera.

“The Trump administration, in an effort to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next 10 years, is considering gutting government agencies, eliminating funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and privatising the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) — effectively axing government dollars for public television, radio and online services.

“While seemingly trivial — the most visible beneficiaries of CPB funding, NPR and PBS, have said they would be likely to survive without CPB money — the cuts would have significant, negative effects on tribal communities that rely on CPB funding to keep tribal radio stations on the air. . . .”

No, We Are Not Just ‘A Nation of Immigrants’

Larry Spotted Crow Mann

Larry Spotted Crow Mann

“We are not by any means, bystanders [in] this narrative of America,” Larry Spotted Crow Mann wrote Saturday for Indian Country Media Network. “We have survived the intergenerational trauma, lateral violence, and the overall vicissitudes of raising our families in a so called ‘Nation of Immigrants’; whereby its very definition, is the final affront to our lives, sacrifices and very Being on this continent.

“It is the epitome of cognitive dissonance and historical amnesia; cradled in a sort of patriotic schizophrenia. It engenders the breeding [ground] for the Native caricatures, mascots and colonial escapism taking place, even today.

“We should say: We are a Nation of Immigrants, Descendants of Chattel Slavery & First Peoples of this Land. This would compel all Americans to acquaint themselves to the true history and sacrifices of this land that carved out the opportunities they now enjoy.”

Parkway Gardens Apartments in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood, where Takiya Holmes was killed. (Credit: Jessica Koscielniak/Chicago Sun-Times)

Parkway Gardens Apartments in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, where Takiya Holmes was killed (Credit: Jessica Koscielniak/Chicago Sun-Times)

In Chicago Complex, Police Should Be Everywhere

Parkway Gardens, a historic housing complex that stretches between 63rd and 65th streets on King Drive, is ground zero for Chicago’s violence,” Mary Mitchell wrote Monday for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The complex had more shootings than any block in the city between June 2011 and June 2014, a Sun-Times analysis found. It is so notorious, the New York Times sent a team of reporters there to try and figure out what was behind the horrendous killings.

“As the first housing cooperative operated and owned by African-Americans, Parkway Gardens was a model for urban development.

“Former first lady Michelle Obama lived in one of the apartments when she was a toddler. . . .

“There have been several senseless killings in or near the complex, including one in which a mother allegedly gave her 13-year-old daughter a switchblade to use in a fight at 64th and King Drive. De’Kayla Dansberry, 15, was stabbed to death in the melee.

“Last year, a stray bullet killed Nykea Aldridge, the 32-year-old cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, while she was pushing a baby stroller.

“After so much mayhem, you would think the police presence around the complex would be crushing.

“But once again, a stray bullet, allegedly fired by rival gang members near the complex, has shattered a family.

“On Saturday night, 11-year-old Takiya Holmes was one of two girls shot in the head in separate incidents. . . .”

Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Jason Meisner and Gregory Pratt wrote Wednesday for the Chicago Tribune, “Takiya was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital a mile and a half to the north, where she was taken off life support Tuesday morning. . . .”

Short Takes

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