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Jet/Ebony magazines sold

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.     What happened? 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. The history A young 24-year old John H. Johnson founded Johnson Publishing in 1942 with the launch of the first issue of a magazine called The Negro Digest. He was able to do so with some financial help from his parents and a $500 loan, and the magazine was an instant hit. It’s name was later changed to Black World, and it had a peak circulation of 100,000 – a huge accomplishment in those days for an African American entrepreneur. It was also a stepping stone to a bigger, better,... read more

There is a revolution going on and it is not being televised

There is a revolution going on and it is not being televised. The Irony of it is that it is about TV, that all important medium that tells you what to think, what to buy, and what to wear. It is also a babysitter and your constant companion on a lonely day or night.     The revolution is about the ubiquitous set top box and the massive amount of money that the cable companies make leasing them, and the unnecessary   barriers they have constructed to separate the TV shows on cable from the shows on the internet. The cable companies are not talking about it because they don’t want their subscribers to know that there are new options coming. Radio and print media don’t want to talk about it because they have already been severely damaged by the rise of the internet. Tom Wheeler of the FCC has mandated that by next year the public will be able to buy and own the set top boxes that they now lease from the cable companies. Currently, you can only lease them through the cable companies much like Ma Bell policy that  would not let you own your own phone  back in the day. Cable companies make about 20 Billion dollars a year off of STB leases. You can see why there is an all-out war to make sure this mandate does not happen. An even more important issue is that the proposal mandates that there be an industry standard for all set top boxes (STB’s). This standard will allow boxes to carry content from all providers not just ATT, Comcast,... read more

Study: Blacks hard drug usage many times lower than Whites

If you think that African Americans are the biggest users of drugs, think again! According to a study by the American Journal of Public Health, among all users of hard drugs such as cocaine, opiates and PCP, whites are more likely to abuse “hard drugs,” such as cocaine or opiates, than their Black counterparts. Nothing new During the study, which was actually conducted 12 years ago, researchers studied more than 1,800 delinquent youth and followed their lives through their late 20s. Although Blacks, were not most likely to use drugs, they were in fact most likely to be arrested and sent to prison for drug use. That proves what blacks have been saying all along — that they are being disproportionately incarcerated! The facts don’t lie According to the study: Whites are 30 times more likely to have cocaine-use disorder than blacks Whites are 50 times more likely to develop opiate-use disorder than blacks Whites are 18 times more likely have PCP-use disorder than blacks Drug us is highest among non-Hispanic whites, followed by Hispanics then African-Americans This research raises big questions on just why blacks are being targeted as the biggest drug users. Disproportionate? Yes! Unfair? You betcha! For more details about the study, visit:... read more

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