Ebony Magazine forced into involuntary bankruptcy

After creating a legacy in Black media for seventy-five years, Ebony Magazine now faces bankruptcy.

Items from the “gift bag” on display at the Ebony Magazine Oscar Party “Hollywood in Harlem” at the Crustacean Restaurant on February 24, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Ebony Magazine is facing a forced involuntary bankruptcy as lenders claim debts remain unpaid.

READ MORE: Ebony replaces CEO Willard Jackson after a financial investigation

According to Law360 creditors of the historic Black publication are pushing for a Texas federal court to force the brand into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a rare move but one they deem necessary.

Multiple petitions state Ebony Media Holdings LLC “is generally not paying its debts as they become due, unless they are the subject of a bona fide dispute as to liability or amount.”

Three companies are leading the charge for the bankruptcy filing. Houston-based Parkview Capital Credit claims to be owed $11.9 million, California-based David M. Abner & Associates claim a debt of $9,400 and New York-based Plum Studio claims to be owed $2,300.

Earlier this month, the magazine replaced CEO Willard Jackson after a financial investigation. TheGrio reported that the board of directors removed Jackson from power on July 2, 2020.

READ MORE: Ebony and Jet archives heading to National African American Museum

In a statement released on their website Ebony Magazine writes “In 1945 EBONY was launched to create visibility for Black Americans, who were invisible in the white press at the time — unless they committed crimes. Seventy-five years later, we are proud to continue to bring an authoritative perspective on the multidimensional Black community and serve as a catalyst for reflection and progression.”

Back in 2019, the original owners, Johnson Publishing Company, filed for bankruptcy. Both Ebony and Jet Magazine were sold in 2016, theGrio notes, to the Texas-based company now also facing bankruptcy.

The filing “was an attempt to re-position the company’s iconic assets, including the Ebony and Jet brands, for long-term success,” says Parkview in a statement to The Root.

“Ebony has been the voice of the Black community for 75 years and we look forward to positioning the company’s assets to serve the Black community for another 75 years,” continues Brad Southern, president and chief investment officer for Parkview.

According to Law360, Ebony will have the chance to challenge the owed amounts. The creditors are represented by Fareed I. Kaisani of Baker Botts LLP

Ebony officially celebrates its 75th anniversary in November.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Loading the player...

Share