On July 2, the board of directors of EBONY Magazine agreed to a leadership change and the removal of Chief Executive Officer Willard Jackson, Jr. Several weeks ago, the board commissioned an independent inquiry into a number of transactions led by Mr. Jackson and the investigation is ongoing.
Since 1945, EBONY Magazine has chronicled the remarkable achievements of Black people while providing a narrative of the historical greatness of Black culture. EBONY will turn 75 years old on Nov. 22.
Jackson is a partner in CVG Group which purchased EBONY in 2016. The acquisition was financed by Parkview Capital Credit Inc. (PCC) through a series of loans. The management of PCC was recently taken over by Blueprint Capital Advisors in April 2019.
“The board of directors individually and collectively understands the legacy and value of EBONY to Black communities globally,” said Jacob Walthour Jr., newly-elected chairman of Ebony’s Board of Directors and co-founder of Blueprint Capital Advisors, a black-owned asset manager. “Founder John H. Johnson conducted himself and EBONY business with a level of class, integrity, and honor that has come to define Black professionalism in America.
“While the Board expects that EBONY will always need to adapt its business model to stay relevant, it must never compromise the core values of (Johnson),” Walthour added.
The board of directors will appoint an interim CEO and operating committee. It will continue to assess all structural, managerial, and financial facets of the organization with an eye toward amplifying the current calls for economic and racial justice and equality.
As part of the board’s engagement, they are prioritizing the payment of delinquent compensation to EBONY employees and expect to make an announcement soon.
Said John C. Robinson, an EBONY director, about the magazine’s approaching milestone anniversary, “As we approach EBONY’s 75th anniversary, now more than any other time since the Civil Rights movement, Black people need a medium to express ‘their’ voice and record this historical moment. We are committed to the preservation of this valuable asset to the Black community and being a part of the next 75 years.”