It’s always good news when longstanding African American publications such as Ebony and Jet are resuscitated. Once the hallmarks of Johnson publications, their revival comes via the financial and visionary efforts of Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA star.
Last December, Bridgeman, who acquired his wealth through ownership of hundreds of Wendy’s and Chili’s franchises, bought Ebony Media and took the company out of bankruptcy.
His daughter, Eden Bridgeman Sklenar is now chair of the parent company and immediately began placing several qualified women to fill important posts.
Bridgeman is the kind of visionary entrepreneur we need. Not only does he have the skills and insight to accumulate wealth, he also knows how to apply it to the benefit of other struggling companies and then to install his daughter at the helm. In one sense he’s taking care of his immediate family and in a broader way the African American community.
Both moves by Bridgeman are inspirational, and we hope the action gains traction and becomes the kind of contagion we can applaud.
“If you were ever wanting to know what was happening with African American culture, all you had to do was pick up an Ebony or Jet and flip through the pages,” Ms. Sklenar said in an interview.
According to reports, the plan is to improve its status in the digital realm and offer only four printed copies annually, a process in effect by a number of publications.
Readers are sure to line up for their copy of the printed version with Jennifer Hudson on the cover, featuring her starring role in “Respect,” the biopic of Aretha Franklin’s life. But there’s sure to be more in the pages that once had such outstanding articles by Lerone Bennett and a coterie of fine journalists.
Whatever the content, it’s good to have Ebony and Jet back in our lives, back in our Black lives where it matters.