Johnson Publishing Gets Credit Infusion
Results have been mixed as company attempts to “reposition” itself.
Johnson Publishing has secured a line of credit as it continues to "reposition" itself in the marketplace.
The company behind popular African-American titles Ebony and Jet announced it has agreed to a revolving credit facility with Gibraltar Business Capital. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"As the curator of the African-American experience—past, present and future—we are thrilled to work with Gibraltar Business Capital as we reposition this iconic firm," says Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing, in a statement.
Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing, adds: "This relationship will allow our company to execute our strategic goals, strengthen our brands and lead to future growth."
This isn’t the only weighty financial move Johnson Publishing has made recently. The company sold a minority stake to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in 2011, though exact terms were not disclosed; it sold its historic Chicago headquarters a year before that.
While the plans moving forward from here are vague—Rogers and Rice were unavailable for comment—the J.P. Morgan investment was accompanied by attempts to bolster editorial and cosmetic products (Johnson Publishing also owns a beauty division, Fashion Fair). Ebony and Jet were both redesigned in the last two years.
The publications have had mixed results however. Circulation and ad pages have each gradually trended upward for Ebony, but Jet has suffered double-digit losses in both categories since mid-2011, according to the Alliance for Audited Media and PIB.
Ad pages have fared especially poorly for the title, down more than 25 percent, partially due to a frequency reduction. Published 39 times a year in 2010, Jet plans to put out just 20 issues this year. Both magazines have been significantly discounted, as well.