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data on African American consumers
Black Buying Power:
$656 Billion (2003)
Black U.S. Population:
Top Five Black Cities
- New York
Top Five Black Metros:
- New York-New Jersey
- Los Angeles
Top Five Expenditures:
- Housing 145.2 bil.
- Food 56.5 bil.
- Cars/Trucks 32.6 bil.
- Clothing 23.0 bil.
- Health Care 18.0 bil.
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DEVELOPMENTS WITH TITLES AND PUBLISHERS
Johnson Publishing Co. announces launch of Ebony,
Jet product lines 9-18-08
Denise Campbell named associate publisher of
Who's Who in Black Chicago 9-10-08
Kenard Gibbs resigns as publisher of Ebony and
Jet magazines 9-5-08
Essence Communications names Joy Collins general
UPTOWN Magazine unveils study on spending by
affluent African-Americans 9-3-08
Essence study: Black women use consumer
technology for empowerment 7-31-08
Noir Media Group to launch NOIRwoman, as a
supplement in Chicago Sun-Times 7-24-08
Uptownlife.net offers lifestyle destination to
affluent African-Americans 7-10-08
UPTOWN magazine hires Squeakywheel Promotions for PR
Essence founder Ed Lewis named chairman of Latina
Media Ventures 5-14-08
Black Enterprise names Oprah's Harpo Inc. Company of
the Year 5-12-08
partners with Warner Bros. for new TV projects and Web strategy
EbonyJet.com to launch
online comic strip with Dreadman Dave Fennoy
'Essence' ranks No.1 in ad revenues for
March; 'The Green has biggest gain 4-7-08
Magazine launches exclusive survey for wealthy black consumers
MPA survey shows black magazine audience healthy and
Enterprise' to honor Hollywood's top moneymakers at the Oscars
Magazine Publishers of American launch
award for Magazine Mentor of the Year
Report, Black Enterprise join forces for MLK Day special
American Family team up for Black History Month 1-14-08
Uptown Magazine looks to expansion with InterMedia Partners investment
Susan Taylor, longtime
guiding force of Essence magazine, is leaving 12-28-07
Co. lays off top three ad execs, names new group director
SalonSENSE marks tenth year with new site
for beauty industry professionals
Latest data shows
African-American magazine segment "up and healthy" 11-21-07
African-American Magazine Summit to be held in New York this week
ONYX Style magazine, Houston�s regional
black magazine, is folding
Len Burnett resigns position at Vibe to
return to Uptown as co-CEO 10-23-07
Black Enterprise fund said to be selling
interest in Florida radio stations 10-1-07
Black Enterprise gears
up its two programs for fall TV season this Sunday 9-24-07
Anne Sempowski Ward named president, COO of
JPC's Fashion Fair Cosmetics 9-11-07
Basil O. Phillips,
Johnson Publishing Co. photo editor, dies at 77 9-4-07
Communication Leadership Center established at USC Annenberg
Essence Studios debuts interactive, online
programming with reality dating show
P&G/Essence Poll: Black women say they are
portrayed 'worst' than others in media
Vibe Vixen magazine to return to being
published only as a special issue 7-25-07
Keith Clinkscales to head ESPN Original
Productions in division restructuring 7-16-07
Magazine debuts website providing content for diverse audience
W. Leonard Evans Jr., founder of Tuesday magazine,
dies at 92 6-27-07
named group publisher of Ebony and Jet, also heads licensing division
Unilever/Essence survey finds black women
see more than beauty in their skin
Publishing Co. names Associated Press to distribute Ebony, Jet photo
MPA promote Shaunice Hawkins to VP,
Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives 4-17-07
B.E.'s Alfred Edmond named to Folio's 40
most influential magazine executives 4-17-07
National Urban League to distribute Urban
Influence magazine on newsstands 4-11-07
Black magazines' ad pages rose for
February; retail, automotive spending up 3-19-07
Robert Ingram joins Vibe magazine as
associate publisher 1-30-07
Ebony's newly hired execs push for a new
edge to retain, attract readers
ONYXStyle magazine forms advertising
alliance with the Houston Chronicle
8, 2005) The Houston Chronicle has developed an alliance with ONYXStyle
Magazine, Houston’s premier African American lifestyle publication.
The alliance provides a targeted marketing strategy for Chronicle
advertisers to tap into ONYXStyle’s 75,000 plus readership of progressive
“We appreciate that the Chronicle continues to recognize the importance of
forming an alliance with Houston-based minority-owned publications which
allows us to continue to serve our community and grow economically,” said
Caleen Burton-Allen, Publisher, ONYXStyle Magazine.
"The Houston Chronicle is thrilled about its new relationship with
ONYXStyle Magazine,” stated Jocelyn Marek the Chronicle’s Vice President
of Marketing and Public Affairs. "It is exciting to be a part of a
publication that has become such an integral part of Houston's
African-American community. We look forward to the good things that we can
accomplish together, both having such an absolute interest in Houston and
what makes it great.”
A seasoned communications professional, Burton-Allen’s diverse
background spans more than 15 years and includes experience in television
reporting, public relations and media relations training. She founded the
magazine in 2002.
A high energy mix of fashion, art, entertainment, business and community
profiles, cultural and social events, ONYXStyle has carved a niche as a
leading publication among blacks in Houston.
is home to the nation’s sixth-largest black population; Harris County has
the states largest black population; Texas has the third largest African
American buying power in the United States totaling more than 46 billion
For more information visit
New magazine offers upscale
shopping advice for African-American women
The Houston Chronicle
(Sept. 5, 2005) If Claire Huxtable, the TV mom from The Cosby Show, were
around today, she would be "jonesing" for a copy of Jones Magazine.
The new local shopping magazine, started by college friends Tracey
Ferguson and Denise Hamilton, is a guide for African-American women who,
like Huxtable, are professional, make good money and want nice things.
"We miss Claire," said the sharply dressed Ferguson carrying a bronze
Fendi Spy bag she recently bought on the island of Capri. "She was sharp,
polished, took care of her family and herself. We wanted to create a
magazine of places where she would shop and stuff she would want because
in reality she's more like us than Lil' Kim."
Jones Magazine, which debuts this month and will be produced quarterly, is
available free at area retailers such as Kuhl-Linscomb, Chard, Uncle
Funky's Daughter, Brown Eyes Blue and Noel Furniture as well as at the
Houstonian Hotel. For $28, readers can subscribe to the publication and
receive invitations to private and special shopping events.
(Jones is a slang term for wanting or desiring something. It also refers
to the saying, "Keeping up with the Joneses.")
Ferguson, 35, and Hamilton, 34, say their magazine is the first local
publication to address the needs and desires of black professional women,
from finding the best stylist to highlight black hair without it falling
out to where to find the "it" handbag of the season that celebrities
"We read In Style and Lucky magazines, but they don't have what we need,"
Hamilton says. "We want to know that Giorgio Armani's foundation, which is
one of the top in the world, only has a few shades that don't really work
on us. We want to know what stores are friendly to us, and if a boutique
only goes up to a size 8, we'll tell you."
Ferguson came up with the idea of starting a magazine while studying
communications at Abilene Christian College, where she and Hamilton met.
The two women jotted down ideas and concepts and dreamed of one day
launching their own publication.
For years after they graduated, Ferguson told family and friends about her
idea. But when her husband, Gary Ferguson, died suddenly from a heart
attack after just three months of marriage in 2004, Ferguson immersed
herself in the project as a way to heal from the loss.
"He was my biggest supporter. He kept telling me to do it."
Ferguson quit her job as marketing manager for the Houston Museum of
Natural Science and eventually teamed with Hamilton, who was working in
marketing at AOL in Miami, to work on the project. They ferociously read
fashion and lifestyle magazines and researched the market to find the
right mix of fashion, lifestyle and services information to offer in their
magazine. They also used their own funds to finance the project.
Click here to read entire article
Click here for
more information about Jones magazine
Amy Barnett steps down as 'Teen People' managing editor, remains at
17, 2005) In a memo distributed today, Time Inc.'s top execs, Norman
Pearlstine and John Huey announced, Amy Barnett's resignation as managing
editor of "Teen People" magazine. When Barnett assumed the post two years
ago, she became the only African-American to hold a top editorial position
at the world's largest publishing company.
"During her time at "Teen People," Amy oversaw a complete
redesign and refocus of the book, helping it maintain a strong position in
an increasingly competitive category,"
read the announcement.
Barnett, who is currently working on an advice book for young women, will
remain at Time Inc. in the magazine development department reporting to
most recently executive editor at "Us Weekly," will replace Barnett at
journalism career was launced at the travel Web site, TotalNewYork.com.
In 1999 she joined "Essence" magazine as lifestyle, beauty and features
editor. A year later, Barnett was named Editor-in-Chief of "Honey"
magazine, where she was recruited away by Time, Inc. in April 2003.
‘Black Enterprise,’ ‘Jet’ and
‘Vibe’ post big gains in latest PIB figures
17, 2005) The top five black magazines are collectively showing signs of
weathering tightening ad budgets. According to figures compiled by the
Publishers Information Bureau of Magazine Publishers of America, "Black
Enterprise" magazine had a whopping 23% increase in July ad dollars over
the same month last year. "Jet" magazine reported a nearly 14% gain in
revenues for the month over 2004. The five titles together averaged growth
of four percent.
"Vibe" magazine is leading the way on growth in ad dollars for the
year-to-date with a 13.9% increase. “Ebony” followed with slightly 10%
improvement in revenues for this year compared with 2004. The average
growth to date for 2005 for PIB measured magazines was 9.4%.
'Ebony' magazine hosts its second annual 'Hollywood In Harlem' film
27, 2005) -- Ebony Magazine will present the "2nd Annual
Hollywood In Harlem Film Festival," beginning Tuesday, August 2
through Saturday, August 6, at various Harlem
legendary and heritage sites, including the Apollo Theater, the
Schomburg Center for Research in Black
Culture, and the Magic Johnson Theatres. The festival lineup offers world
premieres, popular new and classic feature films and documentary
screenings; panel discussions; celebrity guest appearances; red carpets
and klieg lights.
The five-day film festival, which celebrates Harlem Week and the myriad
African-American contributions to the world of cinema, will include
appearances by film, television and theatre legends, such as Ruby Dee, Don
Cheadle, Danny Glover, Ruben Santiago, Nick
Cannon, historian Cornell West and many others.
"This is a special opportunity for our readers and the Harlem community to
interact with both the rising stars and legendary lights of film," said
Ebony Associate Publisher Jeff Burns, Jr. "We are thrilled to partner
with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and Disney to make this an
This year's festival will kick off with the world premiere
starring actor/civil rights advocate,
Ossie Davis, in his final film. The festival will also include the
premiere of Underclassman
, which stars
Drumline star Nick Cannon. Also featured will be Reverend Al
Sharpton in the documentary Moon Over
Sudan, a portrait of genocide in the Sudan. Rev. Sharpton will
moderate a panel discussion, with Danny Glover and others, about how this
genocide impacts African-Americans and the necessity for their
A complete schedule of the festival is available online at
Issues In Higher Education' changes name to 'Diverse' to reflect
21, 2005) The publishers of Black Issues In Higher Education
have announced a new name for their publication, Diverse: Issues In
Higher Education. This change accelerates a new phase in the
continued evolution of this specialized publication to reach a diverse
audience in higher education.
The first issue of the newly named publication is slated for August 25,
2005. While Diverse will continue to focus on the wide range of
issues affecting African-Americans, it will also add new writers and
expand its unique coverage on the broad issues of diversity on college
campuses--a program that actually began five years ago.
Black Issues In Higher Education has been published for over 20 years
by Cox, Matthews & Associates, Inc. of Fairfax, VA. Under the leadership
of William E. Cox, President, and Frank L. Matthews, Publisher, the
journal has become the leading higher education publication focused on the
special interests of people of color.
"Over the years, our audience has grown to include a very wide spectrum of
readers as we have embraced the challenging issues of diversity on college
campuses. We felt the change would better reflect the direction of the
publication and help our readers and advertisers fully appreciate the
content covered by the magazine," Cox said.
"This is not just a name change, but a reaffirmation of our commitment to
meet the needs of our entire target audience," said Matthews. "Our readers
and our advertisers will benefit from our expanded focus and unique
coverage of the higher education market place."
Advertisers were informed of the change effective mid-July, and leadership
groups have been consulted related to the evolution plan. The first
issue's content is under development, and new circulation efforts are
being established to reflect the publication's broader audience. The
inaugural issues and several to follow will benefit from a much wider
Diverse will continue the tradition of bi-weekly publishing with
special reports throughout the year focusing on issues of critical
interest to higher education.
Angela Burt-Murray named to top editorial
post at 'Essence' magazine
Appointment marks return to the black women’s magazine
18, 2005) Angela Burt-Murray, currently executive editor of Teen People
magazine, has been named editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, it
was announced today by Susan L. Taylor, editorial director of Essence
Communications, Inc. The appointment becomes effective August 8th.
Burt-Murray, 35, becomes only the fourth woman to be editor-in-chief in
the 35-year history of the nation’s leading publication for
African-American women. Her appointment ends the search for a successor to
Diane Weathers who retired from the post in March. Burt-Murray previously
worked at Essence from 1998 to 2001 as fashion and beauty features
”I couldn't be more excited about Angela re-joining us," Taylor told
Target Market News. "She's knowledgeable and focused. She has a history of
fine leadership and she wants to serve black people. She know who we are
and the Essence way of doing things.”
Burt-Murray has had a fast-rising career in women-oriented publishing
field. She joined Teen People in April 2001 as beauty director,
then was named features director and assistant managing editor before
being promoted to executive editor in October 2003. As executive editor,
she helped execute the magazine's editorial mission, oversaw its staff,
top edited its entertainment and real life departments, and managed the
title's budget. She is credited with conceiving some of Teen People's
most important features, including its annual sex survey.
Prior to Teen People, Burt-Murray was executive editor at Honey
magazine. Her work as a writer has also appeared in Working Mother,
Parenting, Heart & Soul, Atlanta CityMag, and
Burt-Murray is the co-author, along with Denene Millner and Mitzi Miller,
of the critically acclaimed humor book, “The Angry Black Woman's Guide to
Life” (Dutton), and the forthcoming novel, “The Vow” (HarperCollins/Amistad).
She is a member of National Association of Black Journalists, the American
Society of Magazine Editors, and has made numerous television appearances.
A graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Finance, Burt-Murray
resides in South Orange, New Jersey, with her husband of nine years,
Leonard Murray who is a partner in an asset management firm, and their two
young children, Solomon and Ellison.
Enterprise's Top 100 issue leads pack for revenue gains among
18, 2005) The annual listing of the nation's top black-owned businesses
earned Black Enterprise the top spot for ad revenue gains among
black magazines in June, according to figures from the Magazine Publishers
of America's Publishers Information Bureau.
The B.E. June issue had an estimated $6.8 million in advertising revenue,
a 131% increase over May, and just a one percent decrease in dollars
earned for June 2004.
Ebony and Jet both did substantially better with their June
issues this year compared with the same month last year. Ebony
posted a 27 percent increase in ad revenue, and Jet grew by 11
Collectively, the leading black magazines fought to maintain revenues as
ad dollars tighten. The five black PIB titles had a one percent drop in
June ad pages over the previous year, while all PIB magazines posted an
average two percent increase in ad pages.
June '05 vs May '05 Ad Revenues
Source MPA/PIB. Figures in millions
June '05 vs June '04 Ad Revenues
Source MPA/PIB. Figures in millions
steps down as publisher of 'Vibe' magazine and weighs next move
27, 2005) Carol Watson, one of the most successful women executives in
publishing, resigned from her position as publisher of Vibe
magazine two weeks ago. Watson’s surprise departure comes as Len Burnett
returns to the magazine to assume the title of group publisher for both
Vibe and Vibe Vixen magazine.
In a memo to the staff, Vibe president, Kenard Gibbs, wrote “We
thank her for her enormous contribution to the magazine, most notably in
leading the efforts of the 10 year anniversary and the first annual
Vibe awards. She will truly be missed.”
Watson told Target Market News that she has been fielding inquiries from
other publishing companies but has not decided where she’ll take her
talents. “I want to continue working with advertisers in ways that will
bring them success in reaching the multicultural urban market,” she said.
As Vibe publisher, Watson was
responsible for generating more than $100 million dollars a year in
advertising and promotional revenue. During her first year as publisher in
2003, Vibe magazine had its most successful year in the history of
Watson began her career in advertising sales at
Essence magazine. She then moved to the New York Times Co. for a
12-year tenure. While there she was responsible for the launch of a
publication for the teen market as ad director of The New York Times
She has also served as senior vice president of sales and marketing at
Market Place Media, a specialized multimedia marketing company, where she
was responsible for generating more than $50 million dollars in revenue,
rebranding, and marketing.
The parting between Vibe and Watson comes at a time when there’s
lot of change taking place in black magazine publishing. Just in the past
few months, Essence has come fully under the ownership of Time
Warner, and the company is making other moves to strengthen its position
with ethnically-oriented media.
Savoy magazine has re-launched and Ebony magazine is branching
into the licensing arena. Where Watson goes ultimately could change the
competitive landscape, say media watchers.
Publishing gives TurnerPatterson development rights to 'Ebony' brand name
20, 2005) Johnson Publishing Company, publishers of Ebony magazine,
has announced plans to pursue licensing opportunities for the first time
in the 60-year history of the nation's largest black magazine through an
exclusive agreement with the TurnerPatterson agency. The announcement
coincides with the Licensing International Show opening in New York City
JCP will partner with TurnerPatterson to analyze licensing opportunities
that target African-American consumers. Initially the focus be on home,
financial services, mobile entertainment and Internet technology, apparel,
music, toys and home entertainment appealing to African-American women,
families, teens and children
“As a leading brand in African-American homes for the past 60 years,
Ebony has acquired a unique knowledge of the needs and wants of the
various demographics of African-Americans,” stated Linda Johnson Rice,
president and CEO of JPC. “We are thrilled to tap the expertise of
TurnerPatterson, which will enable Ebony to join forces with
companies to bring high-quality merchandise to the marketplace.”
“Ebony is a well respected brand among African-Americans," said
Debra Turner, president and CEO of TurnerPatterson. “Ebony is a
well-respected brand among African-Americans, and brings years of history,
culture and brand equity to the licensing arena. We look forward to
working closely with Johnson Publishing Company to continue to build and
strengthen its brand and to redefine the licensing industry.”
JPC will mark Ebony's sixtieth anniversary with various activities
this November, and Turner said that she sees tremendous potential for
merchandising using the magazine's archives of photographs and editorial
The agreement means that Ebony will at last join Essence and
Vibe in capitalizing on its popularity and millions of readers with
licensing deals. JPC's Fashion Fair cosmetic line has long shared its name
with the company's traveling fashion show, but this is the first time that
Ebony will be developed as a stand alone brand outside of the pages of
TurnerPatterson, which is black-owned and has offices in Santa Monica,
Calif. and Chicago, has developed a number of licensing projects for major
corporations. Among their current activities is an agreement with Viacom
to create an apparel line for the hit television show, "Girlfriends."
anniversary issue only top black magazine with ad gains for May
15, 2005) The nation’s leading black magazines continue to fight off tight
economic conditions in the industry. Advertising pages were down for
Black Enterprise, Ebony and Vibe, with Jet
posting a two percent increase. Collectively black magazines reporting to
the Publishers Information Bureau of the MPA performed well below the
industry as a whole. All PIB magazines produced a 16 percent increase in
both revenues and pages for their May issues.
There appears to be at least one bright spot for black publishers;
advertisers are supporting special issues. Essence’s May
anniversary issue created a 118 percent increase in advertising over
April’s issue. Vibe more than doubled its one-month ad performance
back in March with its special women-focused Vixen special issue.
Black magazines are keeping pace with the industry in their year-to-year
comparisons. Collectively, May 2005 black issues had a ten percent gain in
ad dollars over May 2004, while all PIB titles posted 12 percent growth
for the same period.
'Black Issues Book Review' and 'QBR'
merge to better serve publishing industry
(June 10, 2005) Black Issues Book Review and
Quarterly Black Review of Books, two leading magazines about black
literature, announced a joint marketing agreement, promising to work
together to create a unified powerhouse.
QBR, founded by Max Rodriguez in 1993, will cease publishing and
combine its circulation with the six-year-old, 41,000-circulation
Black Issues Book Review, which will focus on publishing every other
QBR will direct its energies toward its annual Harlem Book Fair, its
core business, which last July attracted 40,000 people to 135th Street
near Lenox Avenue and attracted extensive TV coverage on C-SPAN.
Harlem Book Fair, which began in 1998, has expanded to eight cities
including Long Island, N.Y., San Diego and Chicago, and with the merger,
Max Rodriguez (left) promised to grow to a dozen cities, adding Boston,
Buffalo, N.Y. and Phoenix.
Publishers William E. Cox of BIBR and Rodriguez told
BlackAmericaWeb.com that the partnership was in the making for about six
“This is going to benefit both organizations,” said Cox, who also
publishes Black Issues in Higher Education, based in Fairfax, Va.
“We were providing services to the literary community. Our interests are
similar, but separate and distinct.”
Just outside the crammed editorial offices of BIBR in the Empire
State Building, Rodriguez said, “We thought it was the right time to bring
our efforts together into one marketing entity that brings the strengths
of three brands. Black Issues Book Review will publish under BIBR/QBR.
Bill will focus on editorial. I will focus on the development side, the
Harlem Book Fair, and bring the magazine in for upcoming publishing
In the joint statement that was read to about 60 cheering book industry
people spilling out of the 15th floor office, Rodriguez said, “This
unified effort provides publishers and other advertisers the single most
effective way to reach and market to African-American readers. BIBR,
QBR and the Harlem Book Fair create a tremendously powerful
“This relationship will have an impact on the entire publishing
marketplace,” said Cox in the statement. “Because there is now a strong
single marketing force for black books and authors, the longevity of
African-American readers is secured. Working together, both companies will
grow, and the market for black books will grow even more.”
At an evening reception for black book publishers day before
Book Expo America opened here, Clara Villarosa, founder of Hue-Man
Bookstore on 125th Street in Harlem and organizer of the two-year-old
African American Booksellers Conference at BEA, said she was pleased that
two black men could unite over common interests rather than fight.
“They’re coming together,” literary matriarch Villarosa said of Rodriguez
and Cox, “to create something that’s better for all of us."
“How often does that happen?" she asked. "Not often enough.”
'Precious Times' announces
distribution agreement with Barnes & Noble chain
24, 2005) “Precious Times” magazine, the quarterly lifestyle publication
for contemporary Black Christian Women, today announced that single copy
sales of the magazine will be immediately available in select stores of
Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest retail book store chain.
In making the announcement, Barnes & Noble noted that ”Precious Times”
magazine is the only 100% African American female-owned black Christian
women’s publication distributed through the national upscale chain. The
magazines cover price is $4.95.
"Affiliation with the giant book seller expands 'Precious Times'
distribution and enhances our vision, passion and commitment to empower
the voices of black Christian women – worldwide and to widen the gates to
the kingdom,” says publisher Marilyn White.
owe our rapid growth and success to a dedicated community of black
Christian women,' said White. 'Our advertisers recognize the Christian
community as a segment with a pre-disposition to companies, products and
services that support our core values and principals. Our advertisers will
benefit from the added exposure to Barnes & Noble customers.”
"Precious Times" started publishing its Christian message in hard copy
format in 2003 after existing for more than ten years as an on-line
website. The magazine has a quarterly audience of 350,000. Now
its second year of publication, the magazine has gained multiple new
advertisers and has grown to more than 72 pages.
'Ebony' leads trend in increased
ad pages for most black magazines in April
16, 2005) Most of the five leading black magazines posted increases in ad
pages in April over figures for March, according to data released by the
Publishers Information Bureau. Ebony magazine had the biggest
increase, with a 14 percent jump in ad dollars.
Ad pages for the top five black titles were down by a total of 13 percent,
due to significant earlier increases for Essence and Vibe. Black
Enterprise, Jet and Ebony all had double-digit growth in ad
pages, while the industry average for all PIB-measured magazines in April
was down three percent.
The slow down in the economy and advertising can be seen in how black
magazines fared over their performance in 2004. Ad pages for the month of
April were down three percent for the same month a year ago. The
difference in all magazines for 2004 versus 2005 was a decrease of one
'Vibe' bucks downward trend in
March ad revenues for black magazines
13, 2005) It was back on the revenue rollercoaster for most of the top
black magazines as the ad revenues for March issues headed downhill
following a significant rise in February. Tightening ad budget handed some
magazines double-digit loses, but there was an exception. Vibe magazine
more than doubled its ad revenues over the monthly period.
Much of the growth at Vibe was attributed to its Vibe Vixen special
edition, which accounted for an additional $2.3 million in revenue. But
the main magazine had substantial growth in ad dollars, thanks to a rate
increase and more volume.
As a result of Vibe's growth, the leading magazines again collectively
out-paced industry revenue trends. All titles reporting to PIB had a nine
percent drop in ad revenue between February and March, while the black PIB
titles posted a 17 percent increase.
Diane Weathers resigns post as
22, 2005) Essence editor-in-chief, Diane Weathers announced to her staff
yesterday that she is stepping down from her position after five years.
Her decision comes as the latest of a number of major shifts taking place
at the leading publishing company targeting black women.
Just last week the sale of the Essence to Time Inc. was completed. A week
prior to that, the company suspended publication of its newest venture,
Suede magazine, after four issues. But Weathers told Target Market News
her exit is unrelated to those developments.
”I’m leaving for personal and professional reasons,” said Weathers in an
interview yesterday. “I’m going through some things with my family and I
really need more time to focus on them. I don’t have the energy to really
put the attention that I need into the magazine. I need to focus on family
Weathers will remain on Essence’s masthead as editor-at-large. Until the
search for her successor is completed, editorial director Susan Taylor
will assume her duties.
Weathers’ departure will be one of the few breaks she has taken in a
30-year career as a journalist and editor. The mother of two daughters and
wife of New York Times veteran Ron Smothers, Weathers has had tenures at
Black Enterprise, Newsweek, Red Book and Consumer Reports. She was also an
information officer for the United Nations based in Italy for six years.
Weathers began her Essence tenure as a member
of the senior editorial team from 1993 to 1997, during which she developed
story ideas, worked with freelancers and frequently wrote feature stories
on a broad variety of social issues.
She says of her stint as the black women’s magazine’s editor that she’s
pleased with where the magazine is now. “I’m proudest of the quality of
the magazine. I think it has never been better. I’m proud of our
campaigns, The War on Girls, Saving Our Sons and now Take Back The Music.
And I’m proud of our numbers -- our newsstand sales are up at a time when
many women’s magazines have been suffering on the newsstands.”
If she could leave a message for the next person that will sit at the
editor-in-chief desk, what would it say? “That’s a tough question,” she
said. “I would say that the audience is a huge cross section of people,
and they think of it as their magazine. And it’s a real art to meeting the
needs of such a diverse audience. It’s a very powerful voice, and it’s a
very important platform that is respected.”
Black magazines bounced back in
February with above average revenue growth
14, 2005) The nation's leading back magazines bounced back from seasonal
drops in their January issues to show above average growth in ad revenues
for February. All but one of the top five titles significantly
out-performed the industry, according to figures from the Publishers
Information Bureau of the Magazine Publishers Association.
Black Enterprise had the greatest growth at 65 percent, closely followed
by Jet with 64 percent. The growth in ad dollars for all PIB measured
magazines between January and February was 28 percent. Collectively, black
magazines had a one-month growth rate of 26 percent.
Essence logged the most in ad revenues with $6.9 million, followed by Jet
with $6.3 million. As a group, the leading black magazines took in $26.1
million for February. These titles also out-performed the industry in
growth of pages by reaching 36 percent, versus a 20 percent growth in
pages for all magazines for February.
New distribution agreement puts
'Gospel Truth' magazine in 1,800
3, 2005) Thanks to a new distribution
agreement, Gospel Truth Magazine's will expand it's current
distribution through Wal-Mart stores from 400 to 1,800 Wal-Mart stores
starting in May. Each store was selected based upon a history of
significant sales of gospel music and other urban based publications such
as Vibe and Source. This expansion translates to an additional
100,000-plus issues of GTM available to Wal-Mart shoppers.
publisher, Kerry Douglas (left) said a comprehensive marketing and
promotion plan has been put into place to ensure sell-through of the
additional copies. The first part of the plan includes a half pallet
display program with the capacity to hold 186 magazines will be executed
in 386 Wal-Marts with the highest propensity to reach the most African
Other marketing and promotional programs includes various campaigns with
GTM s media partners that will include, but not limited to, television
partners, Music Choice and Black Family Channel Networks. Radio partners
will include ABC Radio Network's REJOICE! Musical Soul Food, and SGN's The
Light. Campaigns will comprise of opportunities to win Wal-mart gift
certificates, CD's, issues and/or subscriptions to Gospel Truth Magazine
and family vacations.
GTM was founded in 1998 by Douglas as a means to promote
the awareness of new gospel recording artists to the music industry.
Today, GTM has grown into the largest publication of its kind, reaching
over 200,000 readers bi-monthly.
MBA Magazine ranked by African-Americans among top business
2, 2005) Black MBA Magazine, a trade publication targeting
African-American MBAs, students and other professionals, emerged as one of
the top three publications of choice for African Americans with MBA
degrees who consult periodicals for their professional information,
according to a poll by Universum Communications.
Magazine is the official publication of the National Black MBA Association
(NBMBAA), a professional organization based in Chicago.
Universum Communications is a global research
and consulting company that helps large organizations improve their talent
attraction and retention strategies
Black MBA Magazine ranked high in two Universum polls—one that measured
readership preferences of African-American MBAs in general and another
that noted the preferences of African-American female MBAs versus
African-American male MBAs.
are an important indicator of what Black MBA Magazine has come to mean to
the business community,” said Pamela McElvane, and CEO of P&L Publishing
which publishes Black MBA Magazine. “We will continue to strive for
excellence to sharpen our edge.
Founded in 1996, P&L Group Ltd. specializes in association publishing,
sourcing and staffing, and diversity consulting. The firm also publishes
Black IT Professional Magazine, which is the official publication of the
Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), a 4,700-member organization based
in Philadelphia. The biannual publication is distributed in April and
Vibe launches bi-annual
beauty and fashion title targeted to young black women
(Feb, 28, 2005)VibeVixen, a new beauty and fashion title for
women from the publishers of Vibe, hit newsstands last week. The
semiannual title will publish in the spring and fall of 2005.
Vibe Vixen is
designed to cater to the young, urban, trendsetting female whose passion
for urban music and culture inspires her choices in beauty and fashion.
For more than eleven years, women have represented half of Vibe’s
readership, and Vibe Vixen expands on the publication's
coverage of cutting-edge fashion and beauty trends for urban-minded women.
The launch issue provides readers with insight to the season’s
must-have products, from the latest cosmetic shades that Kimora Lee
Simmons can’t live without to the fabulous hairstyles on the runway and
the denim staples necessary for today’s stylish vixen. The issue also
focuses on this season’s “It” bags and the newest technology on the
market. In addition to profiling the latest styles from the fashion
industry’s elite, Vibe Vixen features exclusive interviews and
commentary with Ashanti, Halle Berry, and Jill Scott, as well as some of
the hottest upcoming designers. February’s premiere issue spotlights
rising star Ciara.
“We are thrilled with Vibe Vixen and think it’s exactly what our
female readers have been looking for in a women’s magazine. This issue is
full of the hottest trends in fashion, beauty and makeup, combined with
fascinating features on fashion and lifestyle as well as sophisticated
survival information for today’s modern, urban woman. I can’t wait to read
the feedback letters. I think that our readers will be as happy as we are
with the final product,” says Editor-in-Chief Mimi Valdés.
will launch with an initial rate base of 425,000 and will be published
explains why the decision was made to suspend 'Suede'
24, 2005) The announcement this week from Essence Communications Partners
that it was suspending publication of its newest title, Suede, was
followed by a wave of speculation that the decision was somehow connected
to the recent sale of the 35-year-old company to Time Inc. However, in an
exclusive interview with Target Market News, ECP president, Michelle
Ebanks said the decision had nothing to do with the new owners, and
everything to do with the numbers behind the new business.
”We’ve been evaluating the business from pre-launch,” said Ebanks, “but
we’re getting more consumer research and results in now and we’re seeing
how difficult it is to reach this multicultural audience. It’s not
something that's ever really been done successfully.”
What’s never been done, she explained further, is a magazine for women of
color with an editorial mix of high-end fashion and lifestyle service
features. Suede billed itself as a publication that blends what Vogue and
Glamour offer individually, but targeted to a multicultural reader.
The problem? Plenty of aspirational features, but not enough service, said
Ebanks. “The magazine was very aspirational in its execution. It was more
like Vogue than Marie Clare or InStyle, in so far as there was more
aspiration than service. We need to work on that balance so that we have
more of a mass appeal versus being as aspirational as we were. You find
that the books that are more aspirational tend to have smaller
The Suede business plan called for the magazine to hit the ground running,
quickly building the circulation to 250,000 by year’s end and publishing
ten issues across 12 months. Monthly issues were to begin with the April
edition. ”We didn’t see yourselves getting there as cost effectively as we
had planned in terms of marketing it,” she said. “But the product was more
expensive than we thought [it would be] as well."
Having the resources of Time Inc. suggested to some that a way could have
been found to give Suede more time to catch on with readers and
advertisers. But Ebanks said nothing would have changed what the research
was telling them. “It’s tough to make these small circulation models work.
And we were ambitious in that we thought we could hit the ball out of the
park from the beginning. But it’s going to cost too much to keep
everything going at 250,000 circulation at ten times a year”
Ebanks hopes to find a way revamp the concept and return to publishing.
Until then, she’s focused on finding positions for the 46 staffers. More
than half have already been placed within Essence or Time Inc. There’s no
word yet on the future plans for star editor, Suzanne Boyd, but Ebanks
would like her to stay with the company.
”For me [losing Suzanne] is one of the biggest disappointments of all,”
said Ebanks. “She’s such a huge talent. The fact that we need to step back
and re-look at the business model puts her on hold and that’s an unfair
Ebanks said that the suspension of Suede is no reflection on the financial
state of Essence magazine -- which is in the process of closing its
upcoming 35th anniversary issue -- or the Essence Music
Festival to be held in New Orleans in July.
If she had known a year ago what she knows now about the fate that awaited
Suede, Ebanks said “I probably would have started out as a quarterly, just
taking baby steps instead of walking and running. I would have given
myself more time to test the concept, test the audience and let the
infrastructure build up around it as we learned more. That’s what I would
have done differently.”
But she added "I have to be financially mindful of the investment relative
to the pay off. If I can halt and reconstruct the business model in a way
that creates a reasonable investment relative to the return, then that’s
what I have to do."
Essence Communications suspends publication of 'Suede' magazine
(Feb. 24, 2005) In a statement released last night, Essence Communications
Partners (ECP) announced that "Suede" magazine will be going on hiatus
after the April issue, its fourth issue.
title for women of color was launched in September of last year as joint
venture between ECP and Time Inc..
In making the announcement, Ed Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Essence
Communications Partners, said, "Suede's unique approach to fashion defined
a new category. The magazine is smart, exciting and provocative. However,
although some of our most talented people have been working on Suede, it
has become clear that more time and resources would be needed to further
develop this brand. This decision will give us the opportunity to step
back and reevaluate the concept and its place in the market."
The closure is the first major business decision since Time Inc. acquired
ownership of Essence Communications last month.
Essence sponsors "Take Back the
Music Week" beginning Feb. 21st
16, 2005) Essence magazine has declared February 21st through
the 25th as Take Back the Music Week. The weeklong initiative
is a call to action for individuals to express their concerns, likes and
dislikes about popular music. Essence is encouraging the public to effect
change by calling, writing letters and sending e-mails with their thoughts
about how black women are portrayed in music and videos directly to the
people who can make a change—programming executives at cable networks,
radio stations and record companies.
The finale of the Take Back the Music Week will be a Town Hall Meeting
cohosted by Essence and Spelman College. The Town Hall Meeting will be
held, Friday, February 25, 7–9 p.m., at the Cosby Auditorium on Spelman’s
campus in Atlanta, Georgia. The topic will be “Where Are We Now? How Did
We Get Here? Where Are We Going?” The panel discussion will feature
Michael Lewellen, vice-president of corporate communications at BET; Bryan
Leach, vice-president Urban A&R at TVT Records; Kevin Powell, author and
activist; MC Lyte, female hip-hop artist/actress; Tarshia Stanley, Spelman
professor of English; and Moya Bailey, Spelman student. The panel will be
moderated by Michaela angela Davis, ESSENCE executive fashion and beauty
Take Back the Music Week is a part of Essence magazine’s campaign
of the same name, which is a yearlong in-depth examination of the ways in
which black women are depicted in popular music and videos. Throughout the
year, Essence will survey the landscape to present a broader scope and
understanding of this provocative issue, and provide a platform for
Annual Edition Available
'Buying Power' report reveals surge by black households for consumer
tighter economic times, African-American households are significantly
increasing their expenditures on consumer electronics for the home,
according to the newest edition of The Buying Power of Black America
report. In many categories such as video games, televisions, CD players,
cable TV service and sound equipment, black households are spending more
on average than their white counterparts.
According to the 103-page report, black households had $656 billion in
earned income in 2003, an increase of 3.9% over the $631 earned in 2002.
Read more and
see the latest expenditure figures for black consumers
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