Saturday, February 13, 2010
7518: Bringing Magic To Ebony And Jet.
From The New York Post…
Magic Johnson courts magazines
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is betting he can bring some magic to the venerable black magazines Ebony and Jet.
The Hall of Fame basketball player is said to be in talks to purchase Johnson Publishing Co., the company behind the two well-known magazines aimed at African-Americans.
“There have been discussions,” Magic Johnson Enterprises President Eric Holoman said in an interview with Bloomberg News, during which he noted, “There’s no definitive agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Chicago-based Johnson Publishing told Bloomberg that company Chairman and CEO Linda Johnson Rice “has never talked to Magic Johnson with respect to his interest in buying” the 58-year-old company.
Talk of a transaction comes as Ebony, like most magazines, has taken it on the chin because of the ad recession. According to the Publisher’s Information Bureau, Ebony’s ad revenue has tanked 38 percent to $35.5 million, driven by a 39 percent decline in ad pages. Jet, meanwhile, has recorded a 36 percent drop in ad revenue to $17.1 million on a 36 percent fall in ad pages.
Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter, reported that a deal with Johnson would likely include the company’s headquarters, which has had liens placed on it by one of the company’s creditors.
Johnson, who’s armed with a $1 billion war chest, would fold Johnson into his Magic Johnson Enterprises, which has partnerships with Starbucks, health-club chain 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide and restaurant chain T.G.I. Fridays.