Nationwide — Ebony magazine and the digital version of Jet magazine, two of the most popular publications that have chronicled African-American life for the past 71 years, have both been sold to Clear View Group – a private equity firm based in Austin, Texas. The sales price was not disclosed, but Michael Gibson, chairman of Clear View Group, says the company will retain its Chicago headquarters and much of its staff.
The exact details are not clear, but after the founder, John H. Johnson, died in 2005, his daughter, Linda Johnson Rice, took over as president. Soon after, the company began to take a hit from declining circulation and low revenue generation.
In 2014, Jet discontinued in print, and shifted to a new digital approach – being only available as an e-magazine on smart phones and tablets. Ebony, however, continues to be available in both print and digitally, but is noticeably a lot thinner than it used to be.
The company’s fall has been blamed on new competition from other African-American focused publications including various web sites and blogs.