Why Magic Should Buy Ebony & Jet

By Dante Lee
Updated: February 15, 2010

COLUMBUS – If you haven’t heard by now, the rumors are true. Magic Johnson is interested in buying Johnson Publishing, the company that owns Ebony and Jet Magazines.

Ebony and Jet, if you didn’t know, are the oldest and the most widely circulated publications that target African Americans. Founded by John Johnson over 60 years ago, the company has since generated billions in advertising revenue – but has fallen on tough times amidst a difficult economy and the recent deaths of both Johnson and his wife.

In 2009, the company’s revenue declined 38% to just $35.5 million.

However, former NBA player and business mogul Magic Johnson is interested in coming to the rescue. He and his company, Magic Johnson Enterprises, are reportedly already having conversations to move the acquisition forward.

I think this is a great idea for Magic Johnson. Johnson Publishing needs a new face, and I think Magic’s clean and well-respected image is perfect.

Even more, Magic is a brilliant entrepreneur with many successful businesses. He has defied many odds, and has become a global business icon. I believe that in no time he could rebuild Ebony and Jet back to profitability.

It’s also a great PR move for him to be known as the person who bought two ailing magazines that have such powerful and cultural significance amongst Blacks.

Finally, Magic’s acquisition of the company would encourage something that you don’t see much of these days: Bigger Black-owned companies acquiring their smaller Black-owned counterparts.

This is something that the Black business community lacks greatly, and is the very reason why many small Black-owned firms have sold their companies to white-owned firms.

Through this one simple acquisition, Magic Johnson would make history (again), and would undoubtedly influence the lives of African Americans in many different ways.