Jet, Ebony Magazines Reorganize

The ranks of Ebony and Jet magazines have been shaken up, with cuts that include the elimination of the publications' editorial director.

According to a report published Monday on the Web site for the Maynard Institute, an organization dedicated to diversity training in the news media, employees who were cut may be able to apply for new positions.

The company is ”executing a multi-phase reorganization," according to a statement, of which employees were notified last week.

The company, Johnson Publishing, ranked No. 1 on Crain’s 2008 list of Chicago’s largest minority-owned companies. With $453.3 million in revenue in 2007, the company beat out Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Inc.

But Ebony and Jet, which target the African-American community, have struggled amid a turbulent economy and declining print advertising sales throughout the media industry. Ebony’s ad sales dropped almost 19% to $14.9 million in 2008, according to Magazine Publishers of America data. Advertising revenue for Jet sank 41% to $5.7 million in 2008.

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