New CEO on return of Ebony, JET: ‘I want my people back’

"This is personal for me,” said Michele Ghee who has been hired to relaunch a new era for the Black legacy magazines.

Former NBA player and entrepreneur Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman purchased Ebony and Jet magazine last month and is ready to bring the publications into a new era.

Now, Michele Ghee has been tapped as CEO to work with the Bridgeman family and in a new interview, she detailed her desire to get to work.

Read More: Ebony and Jet archives heading to National African American Museum

“This is personal for me,” Ghee said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I want my people back,” she continued. “And we’re going to do what it takes to get them.

Michelle T Ghee
Michelle T. Ghee (Maya Darasaw)

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As theGrio reported, Bridgeman purchased the magazines in US Bankruptcy Court in December through his Bridgeman Sports and Media company. He and his children plan to run the editorial hubs and bring the platforms back. They plan to focus on digital as several magazines have shifted to prioritizing in recent years, with a few special-edition print issues.

“When you look at Ebony, you look at the history not just for Black people, but of the United States,” Bridgeman said, according to the report“I think it’s something that a generation is missing and we want to bring that back as much as we can.”

This news comes after Ebony faced an involuntary bankruptcy in July. According to theGrio creditors of Ebony Media Holdings LLC claimed the company “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.”

In July 2019, the original owner, Johnson Publishing Company, filed for bankruptcy. Bridgeman and his family hope to turn this trend around.

“Nothing is ever easy, but this would be, I think, a labor of love,” he remarked.

Ebony will target Black readers in the age group of 25 to 54, while Jet will target those 18 to 34.

“Everything we say will come through the lens of Black journalists. We will ensure there is a safe space for Black journalism to thrive. I’m a little Black girl from Oakland, CA. I’m not apologizing for any of it. Our voices matter. We are history in the making!” Ghee said in a statement reported by Yahoo! Finance.

Ghee says the revamped publications will offer quality journalism despite the fact that she will be working wth some financial constraints.

“Our brands’ main responsibility will be to focus completely on what our beloved audience wants and needs with bold, informed editorial, brilliant content, and the opportunity to connect with like-minded people. Paying homage to Mr. Johnson’s legacy means that my team will carve-out and create our own path. We will NOT succumb to the status quo,” Ghee said.

She will be working in collaboration with Bridgeman’s daughter, Eden Bridgeman, who represents the family and their core mission.

Eden Bridgeman also shared her excitement that Ghee is joining the brand.

“We are honored to have Michele Ghee at the helm to steward these iconic brands. With a proven track record over a storied career thus far and a passion to bring her life experiences to Ebony and Jet we are excited at the future she will create. The next chapter of Ebony and Jet’s history will be told for generations to come, and having her continue to authentically document, innovate, and uplift the culture will be keys to our success,” she remarked, according to Yahoo.

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