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THE LATEST ON
WEEKLIES, DAILIES AND PUBLISHERS
Guardian' names interim team to replace fired editor
By Editor & Publisher
(August 24, 2005)
Two long-time Gainesville (Fla.) Sun veterans were named
interim co-editors to replace Charlotte Roy, who was fired just days
before the Thursday launch of the New York Times Co. weekly that targets
heavily African-American east Gainesville neighborhoods.
One co-editor -- Sun Business Editor Doris Chandler, an African American
who worked on the committee that planned the new weekly -- has worked for
the daily for 36 years. The other, former Managing Editor Rob Oglesby, was
at the paper for 31 years before retiring in 2001.
"We're real pleased to have the Guardian in the hands of two veteran
journalists, and we wish Charlotte well," Sun Publisher Jim Doughton said
in an Sun article by Bob Arndorfer announcing the changes Wednesday. "We
are very grateful and appreciative of all her good work in getting the
first issue out."
Doughton, who also serves as publisher of the Guardian, said the paper
would conduct a search for a permanent editor of the new weekly.
Roy, who declined to comment extensively on her departure with E&P
Tuesday, elaborated on the sudden event in comments to "Journal-isms"
columnist Richard Prince that were posted late Tuesday on the Maynard
Institute for Journalism Education's
"I just was called down and told that it wasn't a good fit," Roy told
Prince. "I'm job hunting. I want to find a good job. This was my dream
job. I produced a wonderful product. The paper is excellent. Everybody
I've been working with has said it is a remarkable job. I'm very proud."
She said she couldn't speculate on why she was fired.
The Guardian has generated controversy since earlier this summer when word
spread among the black press that the Times Co. would soon publish a
black-oriented paper. Some black newspaper owners and columnists suggested
this represented the first step of majority-owned newspaper chains into
the black press, just as mainstream papers have increasingly created or
bought Spanish-language papers that compete with Mom&Pop Latino
The Times Co. has insisted that the Guardian is no different than other
community weeklies that individual dailies in its regional paper group
have launched in recent years.
In the Sun article announcing the interim co-editors, however, Sun and
Guardian Publisher Doughton described the paper, which hits the streets
Thursday, somewhat differently. He said it is "a community publication
designed to serve both east Gainesville and the African-American
Bishop T.D. Jakes' MegaFest called
'mega-snub' to Black Press
By Maynard Eaton
The Atlanta Voice
(August 2, 2005) – Talk is cheap and, apparently, so too is
renowned television minister Bishop T. D. Jakes. In June, Jakes who has
been dubbed “America’s Best Preacher” by TIME magazine, pledged a
partnership with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a
federation of more than 200 Black newspapers.
But when his MegaFest 2005, one of the largest religious conferences ever,
rolls into Atlanta this week with an estimated 150, 000 people in
attendance not one single dime will have been spent with Atlanta’s Black
“We got nothing, he’s not spending anything with Black newspapers,” says
Cheryl Mainor, advertising and marketing director for The Atlanta Voice.
The appeals for advertising from the likes of robust publications such as
the Voice, the Atlanta Daily World, the Atlanta Inquirer and the six other
Black-owned metro Atlanta newspapers fell on deaf ears despite Jakes
having said recently at the NNPA’s Chicago convention, “Today is the
beginning of a reconciliation between the Black church and the Black
“I’m not surprised at anyone who gives lip service to supporting the
African- American press financially, it’s disheartening because the snub
is coming from one of the most charismatic ministers to come along in my
lifetime,” says Jim Washington, publisher of the Dallas Weekly and
president of The Atlanta Voice. “We have a history of people who happen to
look like us that support what we stand for, appreciate the service we
provide and read our paper but who disappear when it comes down to putting
their money where their mouth is. It’s a legacy of ignorance.”
While other media outlets –including black-owned and black-formatted radio
– got paid for advertising – black newspapers were only offered free
tickets to MegaFest entertainment events in exchange for their advertising
space. NNPA President John Smith, publisher of the Inquirer, found that
slight to be insulting both to his membership and, particularly, to his
Atlanta contemporaries. He is fuming.
“As far as MegaFest is concerned they only come to us for PR, everything
else is an afterthought,” Smith complains. “For the most part in a
commercial venue and in terms of having a whole marketing plan for the
black entrepreneurs and business people that is not happening. They come
into our communities and for the most part they leave us as an economic
Smith also says that Bishop Jakes cannot pass the buck nor plead ignorance
to this issue. “This has been brought to Bishop Jakes’ attention. He is
aware of it because I talked to him myself.”
John L. Procope,
former 'N.Y. Amsterdam News' publisher, dies at 82
Jennifer 8. Lee
The N.Y. Times
(July 18, 2005) John L. Procope, an entrepreneur and former publisher
of The New York Amsterdam News, died on Friday. He was 82 and lived in
Queens. The cause was complications from pneumonia, according to E. G.
Bowman Co., where he had served as chairman.
Mr. Procope, a graduate of Morgan State University, was a marketing and
advertising executive at several companies before he joined a consortium
that bought The Amsterdam News, a black newspaper based in Harlem, in
1971. He was one of six co-owners of the newspaper when he succeeded
Clarence B. Jones as publisher in 1974.
After the 1977 blackout and the resultant looting, Mr. Procope broke the
traditional restraint of vocal criticism against other prominent blacks.
He published a blistering front-page editorial that contended that there
was a "massive vacuum of leadership in the black communities across the
The editorial said that since black leaders "hadn't exercised real
leadership prior to the blackout, there was no established communication
with our young people to use as a base for communication when the looters
He was appointed chairman of the seven-member Emergency Aid Commission,
which disbursed about $3 million in grants to businesses hurt by the
In the late 1970's, two co-owners of The Amsterdam News tried to remove
Mr. Procope as publisher, saying that business contracts his wife, Ernesta
G. Procope, had with the city resulted in a conflict of interest - a
contention the Procopes denied.
Mr. Procope left the newspaper in 1982 to focus on E. G. Bowman, an
insurance company that had been founded by his wife that was one of the
first major African-American-owned businesses on Wall Street. The
company's client list started with underserved Brooklyn homeowners but
grew to include Fortune 500 companies.
Mr. Procope and his wife were a driving force behind the creation of the
Fair Access to Insurance Requirements plan in 1968 to help make insurance
available to all residents of New York State. He and his wife were also
highly visible in political and philanthropic circles.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sisters, Dr. Jean Martin of
Bloomfield, Conn.; and Jonelle Terrell of Manhattan.
AARP partners with NNPA on
workshops to reach African-Americans 50-plus
AARP is joining forces with one of the most powerful
voices in the African American community to raise awareness about aging
issues. AARP and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) will
host five regional workshops for NNPA publishers that will result in
providing timely and relevant information to the African American
The announcement was made during the NNPA's 65th anniversary convention in
Chicago last week
"AARP is a membership organization whose mission is to meet the varied
needs of the 50+ population," said Chief Diversity Officer Ron LeGrand.
"Among the 50+ population there are many issues that are relevant to aging
Africa Americans such as affordable prescription drugs, caregiving,
economic security and fighting age discrimination. We want to make sure
this information is easily and readily available to African Americans who
may want to take advantage of or participate in AARP programs and
"The Black Press of America reaches 15 million readers weekly with a
medium age of 43. These are prime prospects for AARP membership," said
Sonny Messiah-Jiles, NNPA Chair. "AARP has an opportunity to develop a
stronger working relationship with NNPA members and advocate for the 50+
population. Partnering with AARP makes good sense. Our readers will be
better informed about the variety of resources that are available to
N.Y. Times said to be planning paper in
Gainesville, Fla. targeting blacks
2005) According to the Web site, Journal-isms, The New York Times Co. is
preparing to launch a newspaper in Gainesville, Fla. that will be targeted
to that city's predominantly black population.
The effort will be similar to the Hispanic newspapers currently published
by some of the nation's largest newspaper companies, and would mark the
first time that an African-American audience would be the paper's focus.
The New York Times Co. paper is to be known as the Gainesville Guardian
and is being coordinated by Charlotte Roy,
a former managing editor of the Atlanta Daily World who has worked as a
news or feature writer for the Detroit Free Press, the Capitol Times in
Madison, Wis., and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Roy is a
founding a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
She is working out of the offices of the Gainesville Sun, a regional paper
with a daily circulation of 47,000 that is owned by the N.Y. Times Co.
Word of the plans came to light when the following item was placed with
the Web site of the National Association of Black Journalists: "The
Gainesville Guardian, the first New York Times-owned black newspaper, is
hiring a general assignment reporter. Candidates with 2-3 years of news
writing experience are encouraged to apply. The position pays between
$27,000 - $30,000, the benefits are excellent and the chances to move up
within the New York Times organization are great. Gainesville, home town
of the University of Florida, is located between Jacksonville and Orlando,
Click here to read the entire Journal-isms column
'Chicago Defender' cuts its daily frequency by
eliminating Tuesday edition
By Mark Fitzgerald
Editor and Publisher
(June 20, 2005) The Chicago Defender, one of just two
black-oriented dailies in the nation, told its readers Monday that it is
reducing its frequency from five issues a week to four for the "short
"It's only temporary, no longer than about a month," Tom Picou, chairman
of the Defender's corporate owner Real Times LLC, told E&P in an interview
Beginning this week, the Tuesday edition is being eliminated, leaving the
paper with a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and weekend edition that
publishes on Friday.
In the unsigned note to readers, the paper said it is reducing frequency
as a way to "use existing editorial resources" to produce 10 special
editions to celebrate its 100th anniversary year, which got underway May
5, and to support two monthly supplements it launched last April.
Picou, though, had a simpler explanation of the move. "The Tuesday paper
loses money, it's as simple as that," he said. "You know, we either have
to beef it up or restructure it to make a profit. This was strictly a
All the other editions are profitable, Picou said.
The note is vague about when the paper will return to five-day frequency,
and seems to suggest that it will last for the entirety of the centennial
year, which ends May 5, 2006. "It is our hope and desire that once our
centennial year passes, we will be able to restore production of the
Chicago Defender to five days a week," the note said.
Picou, though, insisted that the four-day paper will not last anywhere
near that long. "I’m portraying it as very short-term thing," he said.
Advertising salespersons were informed of the decision last Friday, and
agreed with it, he added.
Picou also contended the cutback does not indicate the often-troubled
Defender is a failing enterprise.
"We've turned this paper around," he said, referring to the group of
investors who bought the paper in January, 2003, from the estate of
longtime publisher John Sengstacke. "When we walked in here, there was a
$3 million debt. It's been a struggle for the past two years ... because
the company had been deteriorating for 25 years. You know, it took USA
Today five years to get to break even. We did that in a little over two
Picou said the paper, which is now on probation with the Audit Bureau of
Circulations (ABC), hoped to have an audit completed by the third quarter
of this year. He said the circulation was about 15,000 weekdays and 19,000
on weekends, which would indicate a gain of about 1,000 copies daily and
2,000 copies on weekends over the newspaper's last ABC statement.
The change in frequency, Picou said, will also not affect the monthly
magazines launched last April: The Temple, which is devoted to health
issues among African Americans, and All That, which calls itself "the
voice of Chicago's urban culture" and is aimed at African Americans aged
18 to 34.
However, Picou said the names of both magazines would be changed because
of trademark issues. He said new names had not yet been decided for the
He also said the paper was changing its circulation system to get more
newsracks on the streets and to reach more readers in downtown Chicago. On
advertising, the paper is pushing to get more Mom&Pop retailers, and will
be beefing up its classified section, Picou said.
Phone calls seeking comment from Real Times President and CEO Clarence
Nixon and Executive Editor Roland S. Martin were not returned immediately
'Chicago Defender' extends reach
with debut of new podcast technology
25, 2005) The Chicago Defender has announced
that it is launching the Chicago Defender Inside Black America Podcast
starting May 26. The Defender, celebrating its 100th anniversary this
year, becomes the first black newspaper in the nation to take advantage of
this new technology.
Every week, Chicago Defender staff writers and editors will interview
newsmakers, book authors and other subjects, taking the content that used
to be limited to the newspaper and putting it in audio form. The Chicago
Defender will also develop podcasts in conjunction with its 100th
anniversary, interviewing longtime staffers, former writers and editors,
as well as others in Chicago and abroad who have been influenced by the
nation's most historic black newspaper.
"The Chicago Defender is excited to stay on the cutting edge by launching
our new podcast," said Roland S. Martin, executive editor of the Chicago
Defender. "Our goal is to make this paper the leading news and information
source for African Americans in Chicago.
"We believe that the Chicago Defender Inside Black America Podcast will
appeal to a younger demographic who are avid Internet users, as well as
broaden the content that is used in the Defender, as well as our two
monthly magazines - The Temple and all that - and create a unique
experience for our customers locally, nationally and across the world."
Clarence Nixon, president and CEO of Real Times, Inc., the parent company
of the Chicago Defender, says the podcast will drive tech-savvy users to
ChicagoDefender.com, which will in turn increase traffic to the site.
"Since the launch of our website in December, we have been growing our
online presence, and this new feature will be of tremendous value to
users, but also to advertisers who seek to reach the African American
consumer," Nixon said.
The inaugural Chicago Defender Inside Black America Podcast features Robin
Stone, former executive editor of Essence Magazine and author of "No
Secrets, No Lies: How Black Families can heal from Sexual Abuse." The
podcasts will be available each Thursday and can be heard or downloaded at
Podcasts are audio files that listeners can listen to online or subscribe
to with Real Simple Syndication (RSS). By utilizing a free third-party
source, users can download the podcast to their iPod or MP3 player.
According to an April 2005 study released by the Pew Internet & American
Life Project, "more than 22 million American adults own iPods or MP3
players and 29% of them have downloaded podcasts from the Web so that they
could listen to audio files at a time of their choosing. That amounts to
more than 6 million adults who have tried this new feature that allows
internet "broadcasts" to be downloaded onto their portable listening
Defender' kicks off year-long centennial celebration
Karen E. Pride
(May 5, 2005 - Chicago Defender) An air of pride and excitement filled the
offices of the Chicago Defender Thursday as festivities for the
newspaper's centennial got underway.
"This is a great day, certainly for us, for the Black press across this
country and for African Americans in this city," said Roland Martin, the
paper's executive director. "There are very few Black businesses that
have the opportunity to celebrate this kind of day."
He told reporters and guests that one of the Defender's responsibilities
is to make sure it's still around for another hundred years.
Robert S. Abbott first published the Chicago Defender, as a weekly, on May
5, 1905. It became a daily publication in 1956 under the leadership of
John H.H. Sengstacke, Abbott's nephew, who took up the reins after
Abbott's death in 1940.
"This is a Black newspaper, but we are transitioning into the 21st
Century. Our goal is to be a multimedia company," Martin said. "That is,
to be the leading source for information for African Americans in
The multimedia platform will mean providing news content in the newspaper,
on television and radio and on the Internet.
And instead of creating a single Centennial issue of the Defender, Martin
said there would be 10 separate editions, to be published between now and
May 5, 2006.
"They will focus on business, religion, sports and entertainment," he
said. "We're online at chicagodefender.com and will soon have our
archives, stories and historical photos, on line as well."
Kelly spent the morning welcoming guests, discussing the Defender's
history and influence on "the Great Migration" of Southern Blacks to
Northern cities like Chicago and Detroit, and playing Stevie Wonder's song
written in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Happy Birthday To Ya."
During the news conference, Dr. Clarence Nixon, president and CEO of Real
Times, Inc., and Thomas Picou, the company's chairman, were given
proclamations from Mayro Richard M. Daley and Gov. Rod Blagojevich,
declaring May 5 as "Chicago Defender Day" in the city and state. Illinois
State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka also sent a framed message of
recognition to Nixon and Picou.
Black Press Magazine also presented Martin with its All-Star Award for
The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. told the attendees when he and other African
Americans his age were growing up, there was no outlet for chronicling
Black life until the Defender and other Black newspapers gave them a
"When you look in the mirror and see nothing, you feel diminished,"
Jackson said. "That's how I felt until I started reading stories about
Blacks and seeing photographs of Black people in the Defender. There is
nothing like it."
Other public officials who attended the reception included Cook County
Clerk of Courts Dorothy Brown, Cook County Assessor James Houlihan and Ald.
Madeline Haithcock (2nd).
Martin summed up the Defender's editorial vision by saying it was time to
raise the bar again.
"It is our responsibility to take what Robert Abbott did to the next
level," Martin said. "We must continue to be the standard bearer for
African Americans in this city and in this nation."
Click here to read article on the Chicago Defender's
'Chicago Defender' debuts two magazine
inserts as 100th anniversary nears
12, 2005) The Chicago Defender, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary
next month, will launch two new monthly magazine inserts this week. The
Temple, a publication focusing on the health needs of African Americans,
and All That, a vehicle to tap into Chicago's 18-34 year-old readers, will
both be unveiled as supplements this Friday.
Of The Temple, Roland Martin (above), the newspaper's executive editor
said, "It is our goal to champion those African Americans in this city and
state who are doing remarkable work in the healthcare arena, as well as
offer useful information in the areas of fitness, diet and other
Martin described All That as the voice of Chicago's urban culture. "We
realize that the reading audience for the Chicago Defender is an older
demographic, and we wanted a publication that spoke to the needs and
concerns of the 18-34-year-old group. Unlike other so-called "Gen X and
Gen Y" publications that seem to dumb down the news, we want this
publication to present serious topics, but clearly from a different point
For now, both magazines will be inserted into the weekend edition of the
Defender. Martin said that later this year, his goal is to have the
publications be distributed in the paper and in 250 distribution points
around the city. "We will eventually have 50,000 copies of each
publication in print, and it is our aim to make them two, top-notch
Black newspaper publishers say Dems,
GOP are not giving them fair ad share
By Hazel Trice Edney
(April 6, 2005 - NNPA) The Republican
and Democratic National Committees each spent more than $30 million on
advertising and other media-related expenses leading up to the November
presidential election. In both instances, however, the proportion they
spent with the black media appears to be less than half of their
respective black base.
According to a special computer-assisted report conducted for the National
Newspaper Publishers Association News Service by the Center for Responsive
Politics, a Washington, D.C.- based research firm that operates
OpenSecrets.org, the DNC spent approximately $30,443,565 on media while
Republicans spent approximately $32,597,491 for media-related expenses in
the Nov. 2 election in which President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry.
DNC spokeswoman Daniella Gibbs Léger said the DNC spent $3.2
million with black media during the last election. This amounts to only 10
percent of its total media expenditures while black voters made up 22
percent of the Democratic base in the 2004 presidential election.
RNC spokeswoman Tara Wall repeatedly refused to reveal the exact amount of
money it spent with black-owned media or black-owned newspapers during
last year’s elections.
''We spent over a million dollars on ads in the black community leading up
to the election. The RNC is committed to increasing our share of the black
vote. We have an aggressive outreach effort in place which includes town
halls with our Chairman Ken Mehlman, an African-American Advisory
Committee, continued and on-going relationships with the Black Press and
numerous grassroots outreach events,'' Wall said in a statement.
That $1 million dollars, if accurate, amounted to 3 percent of the total
media spending by the RNC. Voters comprised 2.6 percent of the Bush voters
in 2004. Wall said in an interview that most of the money was spent on
“urban radio” advertisement. However, blacks and Whites own urban radio
stations. Therefore, there is no way to determine the percentage of the
Republican spending with black media or black newspapers.
Republican representatives, including Wall, who is black, attended a U. S.
Capitol breakfast for NNPA publishers, commemorating Black Press week,
shaking hands, passing business cards and congratulating NNPA on its 65th
anniversary. But, at the breakfast, sponsored by the RNC, Wall still
declined to say how much the RNC spent with black newspapers, while noting
that much of the money was allocated for urban radio, which does not
necessarily mean black-owned media.
RNC Chairman Mehlman has refused to return repeated phone calls although
his RNC communications staff said they were working on the NNPA interview
request almost a month ago.
According to the CRP report, the DNC frequently spent triple that amount
on purchases with media production and advertising firms. For example, the
DNC spent $918,394 on one purchase with Malchow, Schlackman, Hoppey &
Cooper Inc. for media productions last July, according to the report.
The CRP numbers were compiled based on DNC and RNC reports to the Federal
Elections Commission on Feb. 27.
While NNPA publishers called the DNC amount piddling given that nine out
of 10 black people usually vote Democratic, they also expressed
disappointment that RNC leaders would spend little or nothing; plus
withhold their amounts, while claiming to value the Black Press.
“When you look at the Republican National Committee and the fact that they
did not do any substantial advertising in the black newspapers, I think
what that speaks to is the fact that we have to do a better job of
building relationships with them so they understand the value of the Black
Press and what it brings to the table,” says NNPA Chairwoman Sonny
Messiah-Jiles, publisher of the Houston Defender.
John “Jake” Oliver Jr., publisher of the Afro-American Newspapers and
former NNPA president, says both parties have simply failed to listen.
“They’re being ill-advised. They’re seeking their media advice from bogus
sources who attempt to hold themselves out at being experts at how to
deliver an affective message to the African-American community when time
and time again has shown they don’t know a thing about it,” Oliver says.
“They’re asking the wrong people. They’re relying on the wrong people. The
leadership of those parties fail to basically take the steps to figure out
exactly what is the most affective way. And they fail to listen to the
presentations that are being made and not only buy the black media –
particularly newspapers – but also go into the community and find out what
is it that is basically motivating the people the most. And they’ll find
that black newspapers get the most trust than anything else.”
“I enjoyed the breakfast that they paid for. I enjoyed meeting with both
of my Republican senators from Texas. However, I am very concerned that
they have not spent any money with the African-American press in America.
And it would be my wish that they would support the African-American press
and also to help us to get our fair share of the millions of dollars that
the government spends nationally,” says Dallas Examiner Publisher James
“I’m not only disappointed in the efforts of the Republican Party, but I
am very disappointed in the efforts of the Democratic Party to make sure
that the African-American press has got the fair amount of business from
the DNC and these other governmental agencies,” Belt says.
Political scientists say the low spending with black media have separate
meanings for the parties.
David Covin, a political scientist at California State University,
Sacramento says the Republican behavior is rooted in a historic ''solid
South'' mentality that aims to maintain a lock on southern White voters.
''One of the things the solid South means is that you can not court the
black vote. You cannot do it publicly. You can do it in back doorways,''
says Covin, president of the National Conference of Black Political
Scientists. ''Almost nobody covers the Black Press convention, so they can
be there and nobody will even know about it, so they don't have to worry
about alienating their base. And still they can make inroads into the
As for the Democrats, “It could be just a presumption, again, that they’re
going to sew up the black vote,” says Katherine Tate, professor of
political science and Afro-American Studies at the University of
California at Irvine. “Or, they may not be aware of the mobilizing factor
media coverage brings in terms of increasing the turn out.”
Bay State Banner signs agreement with
Boston Globe on diversity supplement
(March 29, 2005)
On April 3, The Boston Globe will publish Diversity Boston, a special
advertising supplement focused on employment issues of importance to the
region's black, Hispanic and Asian communities. African Americans
represent 28% of the city of Boston's population and Latinos represent
another 14% of the population.
In an effort to increase distribution of the supplement to a diverse
audience, BostonWorks, the recruitment services division of the Boston
Globe, has signed an agreement with the Bay State Banner, a weekly
newspaper serving Boston's African-American and English-speaking Latino
communities. The award-winning publication, which is celebrating its 40th
anniversary this year, is the principal advocate for these communities in
Greater Boston and throughout the state.
The Bay State Banner will distribute Diversity Boston in its issue of
April 7, giving BostonWorks an added distribution of 30,000 copies. Melvin
Miller, publisher of the Banner, will write an editorial in support of the
arrangement in that issue of the Bay State Banner.
"Partnering with BostonWorks on Diversity Boston just made sense," said
Mr. Miller. "Diversity Boston offers both content and employment
opportunities of interest to our readership. Combined with our reach, it
was a winning solution for both parties."
Milwaukee's black newspapers call for boycott
of Kohl's Dept. Stores again
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
(March 8, 2005)
After getting Home Depot to advertise in
African-American newspapers, and pressuring Office Depot and T-Mobile
Wireless to do likewise, black newspapers have a new target: Kohl's
Kohl's is the target of a boycott orchestrated by Kimber, Kimber &
Associates, a Fresno, Calif., advocacy advertising agency that represents
250 black-owned newspapers across the country.
The purported offense: Kohl's practice of excluding black newspapers from
its print media buys. The Menomonee Falls-based retail chain channels its
print advertising buys mostly to mainstream media that enable it to reach
the largest audiences.
A group of black publishers now calls this practice discriminatory and
demands that Kohl's do like other companies that have been targeted and
cough up millions of dollars in print ad buys.
Since late November, the Milwaukee Courier, The Milwaukee Times and The
Milwaukee Community Journal, Milwaukee's three black-owned weekly
newspapers, have been running full-page ads urging black consumers not to
shop at Kohl's as part of a nationwide effort organized by Kimber.
"Our (black) publishers see this as a civil rights movement for ad dollars
and their survival," says Mark Kimber, chief executive officer of Kimber.
This strong-arm tactic succeeded with Home Depot and Office Depot. Home
Depot has launched a $4.7 million advertising campaign with
African-American newspapers, said Kimber. According to Ethnic Newswatch,
it's the largest such campaign that anybody has done. After it was charged
with discrimination by Kimber, Office Depot now spends more than $1
million annually on print advertising with black papers.
Click here to read entire Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Ethnic Print Media releases preliminary data from national newspaper study
10, 2005) Preliminary results from the first nationwide readership study
of the top 110 African American newspapers uncovers the powerful role
African American newspapers play in their ethnic community, announced
Gemstone Communications, Inc. and its newspaper ad sales division Ethnic
Print Media Group.
The proprietary readership study of African American newspapers shows:
- 66% of readers cite their African American newspaper as their Primary or
Only source for local news and community event information
- Only 12% subscribe to a daily newspaper
- 72% frequently purchase products or services as seen in their local
African American newspaper
"Our new proprietary research shows the power of our newspapers in reach,
relevance and importance in the African American community," said
Ethnic Print Media Group/ Gemstone Communications Vice President Trevor
Hansen. "For marketers and agencies looking for the touch points to
effectively reach the African American market, our newspapers provide the
forum and editorial environment for strong brand messaging."
The large-scale circulation audit and readership study will be completed
next month. The readership study will include interviews with more
than 15,000 readers of 110 African American community newspapers across
the United States.
Demographic and qualitative readership data will include such topics as:
travel plans, future purchases of cars, furniture and electronics, as well
as insurance, health and financial interests. The independent research is
being conducted by Circulation Verification Council.
The Wave Newspapers seeks to
restructure debt owed to development bank
(Dec. 29, 2004) Wave Community Newspapers Inc. has filed a voluntary
petition for relief under Chapter 11 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los
Angeles. The company is the nation's largest African-American-owned
newspaper publisher, with black and Hispanic papers totaling more than
150,000 in circulation.
According to company officials, the bankruptcy filing was prompted by
repayment demands and other disputes that The Wave was having with its
primary secured lender, Los Angeles Community Development Bank. LACDB was
established after the 1992 riots in Los Angeles to assist minority
businesses and spur economic development by providing loans. Beginning in
1999, The Wave, under its previous owners, began receiving loan from the
LACDB, which ultimately totaled some $4 million.
The bank itself became a victim of mismanagement went into bankruptcy and
Valley Economic Development Center was charged with collecting the bank's
In 2000, The Wave Newspapers was acquired by Equal Access Media whose CEO
is Pluria Marshall, Jr. Marshall told Target Market News that the company
has repaid about $1.3 million of the loan and was making monthly
installments of $30,000 per month. The Wave was trying to restructure its
re-payment plan, but Marshall said Valley Economic Development refused to
“We had been negotiating with the LACDB for over a year when it was placed
into receivership.” Marshall said. “The receiver, who was charged strictly
with collecting LACDB’s obligations, did not have the same goals as the
LACDB. They had no interest in job creation or the development of
inner-city empowerment zones. We are committed to solving the issues at
The Wave and we will exercise those options under the supervision of the
Marshall added that the bankruptcy filing is not a reflection of the
company's current fiscal condition. “The business is profitable from a
profit and loss standpoint,” he said. “The reorganization will not result
in any significant changes in operation for The Wave.”
The Wave plans to pay "about a seven figures portion of the debt" by
selling the building where the company was formerly headquartered,
according to Marshall. The plan must be approved by the bankruptcy court.
Roberto Barragan, president of the Valley Economic Development Center,
disputed Marshall's version of the negotiations, telling the Los Angeles
Times that The Wave had ignored a request for repayment.
“The Wave plans to emerge from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a
comprehensive restructuring of its debt as expeditiously as possible,”
said Marshall in a statement. “Pending completion of its reorganization,
the company intends to operate its business without significant
disruptions and pay all necessary operating expenses.”
'Oakland Post' being charged
illegal dumping of printing ink
(Dec. 19, 2004) According to a story appearing
in the "Alameda Times-Star," the Alameda Publishing Corp, which publishes
the "Oakland Post," is being charged by San Francisco District Attorney
Kamala Harris with illegally dumping hazardous printing ink in a black
community. The felony charges names Victor Martinez and William Araujo
with transporting and disposing of the ink.
Investigators found some 40 five-gallon containers of ink dumped in the
Bay View neighborhood. Martinez headed the former printing plant for
Alameda Post Newspaper Group. Araujo was hired in the summer of 2003 to
dispose of the ink as the printing facility was being closed. Alameda
switched its printing to outside contractors.
Prosecutors said investigators learned that Alameda had secured an
estimate from a hazardous material disposal company but didn't hire the
firm because they thought the price was too high. Fines for the illegal
dumping could be as high as $100,000 a day for the containers were at the
Paul Cobb, whose company, The Good News Is, LLC purchased the Post
Newspaper Group from Alameda just two weeks ago, said he knew nothing
about the dumping and would cooperate with the investigation.
Read The Alameda Times-Star article
The 'Oakland Post' is purchased by activist
and former columnist Paul Cobb
16, 2004) Well known community activist, Paul Cobb, has purchased the Post
Newspaper Group, including the 39-year-old Oakland Post weekly newspaper,
from its founder for an undisclosed sum.
The transaction was concluded last Friday when Cobb's company, The Good
News Is, LLC, bought the paper's assets from Alameda Publishing. The black
weekly was started in 1965 by prominent Oakland lawyer Thomas L. Berkley
and his wife Velda Berkley. Since her husband's death three years ago,
Velda, 84, has been publisher and sole owner.
“I feel very comfortable and very pleased; I think he is going to carry on
our legacy,” said Berkley. “It’s like losing a child, but due to my age I
could see that it was the end of an era and time for some fresh blood,”
Cobb has a long history with the Post. He first worked for the paper two
years after its founding and went on to become its religion editor and a
Sunday columnist. In between his tenure there, he headed the Oakland
Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal and was a mayoral appointee on the
Board of Education.
“I feel humbled by the opportunity to serve; reflective on my start with
Tom Berkley and the Berkley family as well—I’ve known them for 45
years—I’m proud to be a part of the tradition,” said Cobb.
The Post Newspaper Group will continue distributing its free editions in
Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and Richmond areas. Cobb also hopes to
make El Mundo, the company's Spanish language newspaper, the premier
Latino paper in Northern California. He is seeking investors for both El
Mundo and the Post.
Cobb said he first wanted to buy the paper in the early ‘70s, when he was
part owner of the California Voice, but was denied. And even though he was
laid off twice by Thomas L. Berkley from his post as reporter, and laid
off once by Velda Berkley from his position as religion editor, he is
thrilled to be back: this time as the owner.
“I think the name of the corporation that owns the paper embodies our
philosophy: The Good News Is. The good news is the Post is still going to
be here. The good news is that you have ownership of the Post that
believes in it. The good news is that it’s somebody who cut their teeth
with the paper. I started with the Post as a cub reporter 40 years ago,
and I am still committed. The good news is that you have ownership that is
committed to extending the historic accomplishments of Thomas L. Berkley
and Velda Berkley,” said Cobb.
One of Cobb's first moves as new publisher was to name Gail Berkley
executive editor of the Post. “We must move posthaste to increase
advertising, develop an interactive website and establish multimedia
links. I look forward to working with the other publishers in the area to
develop strategies to increase our share of advertising dollars or we will
be just a postscript,” said Cobb.
'Our Weekly' to debut next
month as a free black weekly paper in Los Angeles
3, 2004) "Our
Weekly," a new weekly newspaper dedicated to the African American
communities of Los Angeles, will debut in January 2005 with a free
circulation of 50,000.
Headed by Natalie Cole and David Miller, the South Los Angeles-based will
be distributed Thursdays door to door in Ladera, Baldwin Hills, Windsor
Hills, View Park, Leimert Park, LaFayette Park Square, North Inglewood,
Mid-City and surrounding communities. The paper will also available
through convenience stores, grocery stores, and various retail & service
outlets throughout the community.
The founders of the publication say it was born out of the need for a news
source that directly addresses the topics and issues facing African
Americans and their communities. "The evolution of 'Our Weekly' is a
classic example of discovering a need that has gone unfulfilled and
developing a plan of action to fulfill that need," said Natalie Cole,
owner and CEO of the new venture.
The management team is composed of former senior managers from "The Los
Angeles Times," "L.A. Weekly," "L.A. Daily News," "The Los Angeles Wave"
and "Recycler Classifieds." They bring over 65 years of combined
publishing experience to the new organization.
"Our Weekly" will feature coverage at the local, state and national levels
that is important to African Americans and the communities in which they
live. Content will include news, lifestyle sections, health, wellness,
art, entertainment, business, careers, education, real estate and a
comprehensive classified section.
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
THE WORKBOOK NOW!
sixth annual event examining the latest trends, findings and practices in
marketing to African-American consumers
Carol H. Williams Advertising
E. Morris Communications
Ethnic Print Media Group
NSights Worldwide LLC
On Wheels Inc.
R.J. Dale Advertising & P.R.
Target Market News
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