Media Contacts

EBONY Magazine In Flux - Print Magazine Folds, Digital Seems To Continue

EBONY Magazine and its spin off political sister magazine Jet, reportedly fired its online editorial staff without pay, as reported by the New York Daily News and The Root, and suspended the print publication. So far, Spring 2019 has been the last issue.

The Background

Founded by John H. Johnson in 1945, EBONY Magazine was the source for African American culture, news and perspective. When Johnson died in 2005, his daughter Linda Johnson Rice took the helm. By that time, the shifts in media publishing were starting to prove too volatile for survival. Rice sold the Johnson Publishing Company building in 2010 to Columbia College, moving the staff to more affordable offices.

In 2016, both EBONY and Jet were sold to The Clear View Group (CVG), an African American investment group bringing over 25 years of experience in running successful corporations.

#EbonyOwes Social Campaign Emerges In Defense Of Unpaid Freelance Writers

In 2017, a social media campaign #EbonyOwes forced Clear View Group’s owners Michael Gibson and Willard Jackson into the public eye for not paying their freelance writers, as reported by Vice. Fifty freelance writers were owed a collective amount of $200K. In response, EBONY made an effort to pay them with $18K offered to 11 writers, 3 of whom were paid in full. The National Writers Union stepped in, taking EBONY Media and its parent company CVG to court.

On February 27, 2018, the remaining 43 writers finally settled their lawsuit with Ebony Magazine, according to Kinja. Ebony Media, Clear View Group and the National Writers Union came to an agreement that all unpaid invoices would be compensated by the end of the year in four quarterly payments. But by October 2018, Ebony missed its third quarter payment. After another lawsuit and more social media shaming, CVG made the final payment by December 7, 2018 - three weeks before the final deadline.

In November 2018, the company suspended dental, vision and disability overage, suggesting the possibility of reinstating benefits in June 2019. But on January 3, 2019, all other medical benefits were cancelled, including HSA plans.

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…And Then Print…And Then Payroll…

In May of 2019, CVG informed their staff that the print edition of EBONY would be suspended on May 24th. On May 30th, a memo informed staffers that payroll would be delayed. Some employees have mentioned that their 401(k) contributions deducted from their paychecks were never added to their accounts, according to the New York Post.

The magazine cover created by Lawrence Ross for TheRoot.com, as a parody. Ebony Magazine took TheRoot.com to court alleging trademark infringement. It was ruled that the satirical cover was protected under the First Amendment.  Image Credit:    Lawrence Ross

The magazine cover created by Lawrence Ross for TheRoot.com, as a parody. Ebony Magazine took TheRoot.com to court alleging trademark infringement. It was ruled that the satirical cover was protected under the First Amendment.
Image Credit: Lawrence Ross

EBONY Magazine Loses Lawsuit Over Satirical and Critical Magazine Cover

Ebony Magazine lost a lawsuit against TheRoot.com, for allegedly infringing on Ebony’s trademark due to this magazine cover parody created by Lawrence Ross. It was ruled that the satirical cover was protected under the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York wrote, “Each of the 5 headlines on the Accused Image is harshly and unambiguously critical of EBONY Magazine —sarcastically purporting to preview (non-existent) stories about: the magazine being a ‘deadbeat,ʼthe magazineʼs owners ‘show[ing] us howʼ to cheat black writers, ‘100 Ways Ebony Doesnʼt Pay Writers,ʼ the magazineʼs owners as ‘Slow Pay Kings of Black Biz,ʼ and ‘Thousands in Back Payʼ owed by the magazine. It is difficult to imagine any reader experiencing confusion as to whether or not EBONY Magazine sponsored or endorsed a cover that portrays it in such a negative light. . . .” 

Former EBONY Publisher Files For Bankruptcy

In April 2019, former EBONY publisher Johnson Publishing Company filed for bankruptcy, which does not impact the publication, according to EBONY as quoted in Black Press USA.  They are in the process of selling off all remaining assets, including an archive of photos chronicling black American history and Fashion Fair cosmetics, the first cosmetic line to address the beauty needs of the African American community it retained from Linda Johnson Rice.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from the article at  The Root .

Photo Credit: Screenshot from the article at The Root.

Photo Archives Of African American People And History Are Unsecured

The photo archives were once valued at $46 million in 2015, according to TheSource.com. The photo archives included photos of entertainers, civil rights leaders and prominent African American businessmen and women. According to The New York Post: “The archive includes one of the most dramatic photos of the civil rights era: the badly disfigured body of 14-year-old Emmett Till laid out in a coffin. The Chicago native was accused of offending a white woman during a trip to Mississippi, which led to barbed wire being tied around his neck before he was thrown naked into a river with a 75-pound weight tied to him. The photo by David Jackson appeared first in Jet in 1955 and became a searing reminder of racism in the Deep South at the time.”

Financier Mellody Hobson and her husband George Lucas (yes, that George Lucas) are attempting to take control over the archive according to The Root, as it was used as collateral when Capital Holdings V, a company Hobson and Lucas control, lent JPC $12 million dollars back in 2015. The photo collection is set to go up for auction the week of July 15, 2019, likely in Chicago.

Brides Magazine Stops Printing - Acquired by Dotdash Who Wants To Focus On Digital

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Face-palm emoji! Brides magazine bites the dust - on paper at least. The editorial staff is remaining yet will change offices, according to a report in the New York Times. Brides will live on and hopefully thrive in digital. Brides magazine has been up for sale for some time, and was recently purchased by Dotdash, a website company that started out as About.com and then rebranded to Dotdash. InterActiveCorp (IAC) owns Dotdash, whose chairman is Barry Dillar, the billionaire media mogul. IAC also owns Tinder, Match, and OKCupid.

As reported in the New York Times article, Condé Nast had been scaling down on the magazine, said the head of Dotdash, Neil Vogel: “It’s clear to us that there wasn’t a ton of investment behind this in the last few years.” He also made clear in that article that Dotdash was purchasing the publication for the editorial team and for the digital reach.

Meanwhile, In Editorial…

Brides Executive Director, Lisa Harmon Gooder, will remain in her position. Brides went online in 2006 under the editorial leadership of Keija Minor, who was the publication’s first African American Editor In Chief. Keija held that role from 2012 until 2017. Under Keija’s helm, the digital readership rapidly grew.

Competitors include TheKnot.com and WeddingWire. Dotdash head Neil is feeling a bit competitive and feisty about the acquisition, telling the New York Times how he will treat Brides as “what the future of Condé Nast should be.”

Condé Nast also owns Vogue, The New Yorker, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, and others. Recently, Condé Nast opted to stop printing Glamour and teenVogue, and keep them alive in digital. Recently it sold Golf Digest to Discovery, Inc. for a reported $35 million. W magazine remains for sale, and reportedly started at an asking price of $8 million, and might have been negotiated down to $1 million? But still no sale. Come on - who will buy it? That's less than a townhouse in Manhattan!

Brides.com is already a beautiful website. We’ll see how it shapes up! For now, at least you can consider your editorial leads warm as they make the transition. The Tin Shingle Media Contact Library Team will be keeping an eye on things and update the database as developments happen. Send us a tip of if you have one!

As for Tin Shingle's Editorial Calendar Collection, Brides has been removed, as we only track calendars for print publications. Digital moves too fast! But you shouldn't rely or wait around for an editorial calendar anyway, You should cold-pitch! Tin Shingle teaches you how.

Traditional Home To Become a Special Interest Magazine

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Meredith publishing, under financial pressure after acquiring Time Inc. last year for $2.8 billion, laid off around 60 employees. Nearly half of the layoffs were from Entertainment Weekly and Traditional Home. Both publications have dramatically slashed their printing schedules, with Entertainment Weekly cutting back to a monthly schedule and Traditional Home will become a quarterly special interest publication, publishing 4 times a year.

Among the more high profile cuts include publisher Beth McDonough. Traditional Home’s chief editor Jill Waage avoided the chopping block, however most of her staff’s jobs were not spared. Business of Home reported that Wagge has spent 11 years in Meredith’s special interest media division, so her expertise is a valuable commodity.

This is not the first time Traditional Home has seen major changes. In 2017, its publication schedule went from eight yearly issues to only six. In 2018, senior design and market editor Tori Mellot resigned and was not replaced.

Recently, the hearth and home niche at Meredith has taken quite a beating over the last few years. Cooking Light and Coastal Living are no longer on a regular publication schedule. The internal competition for advertisement dollars is proving too strenuous for future viability.

Said a spokesperson for Meredith in the New York Post: “We had five subscription magazines in the home category: Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living and Traditional Home. That’s a lot of competition internally for ad dollars, let alone when you consider outside competitors in the space.”

Says Katie of Tin Shingle: “Or is that what happens when your purchase titles and cannibalize your market share?”

Tin Shingle will be monitoring media moves to update our Media Contact Library.

New Podcast Alert! “Going Through It” From MailChimp

New Podcast Alert! From the talented Ann Friedman originally produced for MailChimp. “Ann Friedman sits down with writers, comedians, politicians, and musicians to hear about the pivotal moments in their lives, careers, and relationships when they had to decide whether to quit or whether to keep going.”

See Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library for details!

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Entertainment Weekly Magazine Goes Monthly - But Keeps Weekly In Title For Now

Entertainment Weekly magazine will go monthly, yet retain the title of Weekly, according to Adweek. The publication, part of the Meredith family of print publications, will start this new schedule in August under new Editor In Chief JD Heyman. The July 5th issue will be the last weekly publication. The new EID is coming from People Magazine. The former EID, Henry Goldblatt, has been at a Entertainment Weekly for 17 years, according to Variety, as highlighted by Adweek.

What Does That Mean For Businesses Looking For Features?

The print publication cycle will slow down a bit, now that there aren’t weekly magazines to churn out. As for an Editorial Calendar, they may release a broad theme to sell to advertisers in a broader way. But, we don’t recommend you to pitch by Editorial Calendar theme anyway because there are way to many ideas out there to wait for a broad theme. 

Tin Shingle will inquire as to what their new print publication cycle will look like, so that we know which months they are working on when. We will also keep our eyes on media moves for those coming and going for our Media Contact Library.

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Updating Woman’s Day Magazine in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact & Idea Library

Have you considered pitching Woman’s Day Magazine for your outreach? You should. Woman’s Day speaks to a wide range of women and champions healthy living in their pages, as well as food, fitness, environmentally friendly living, Kid life, mom life, and more. Often a popular drugstore find, there are a lot of ideas for how experts can get quoted or be used as an expert source in this magazine. Tin Shingle is updating our Media Contact & Idea Library with people who may be good fits to receive your pitch as you’re doing outreach to the media to get the word out about your business.

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The Dude Was Right: Cannabis Is Thriving: Magazines Publishing In The Cannabis Space

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Happy April 20th (4/20)

For those of you selling product and services in the cannabis space, you’re having more options of what magazines will feature your business. Tin Shingle has the Editorial Calendars for a few Cannabis publications, and wanted to give you an overview of some of the larger ones.

For over 40 years, High Times has become the most regarded source of authentic cannabis culture. They have led the fight for legalization and have supported the industry’s legal businesses.  There is considerable monetization opportunities available with their growing audience. Over 30 million Americans are marijuana enthusiasts, medical and recreational combined.

Over the past year, High Times has acquired several properties, including Dope Magazine, Culture, and Green Rush Daily (MediaPost.com). While Culture focuses on medical cannabis news, Dope showcases the cannabis lifestyle across many industries. Green Rush Daily is a digital publication presenting cannabis content across different subjects ranging from politics to art. Green Rush Daily will continue to operate independently as part of the High Times family. Upon acquiring these properties, High Times launched music, live-events and online video.

“Culture has created a publication and online presence that complement the iconic High Times brand and its many related ventures,” said Adam Levin, CEO of High Times. “We’re building a broad collection of different Cannabis-related publications to offer to our many advertisers who are seeking the highly sought demographic of Canna-users. Culture is a natural fit as we continue to expand.” (LA Cannabis News)

"As states continue to legalize and Cannabis becomes more and more ingrained into American society, the desire for Cannabis-driven content is reaching an all-time high," High Times' CEO Adam Levin told Benzinga. "With that in mind, we're very excited to welcome Green Rush Daily into the High Times family to help us further satisfy those cravings. We've respected their digital and journalistic capabilities for some time, and are looking forward to sharing best practices and growing these brands side by side." (Nasdaq.com)

"Dope is a strategic acquisition for our portfolio, offering key complementary assets to our existing platforms, and opening the opportunity for economies of scale to improve performance of all our publication group," said Adam Levin in a statement published by Forbes.com. "What Dope Media has built in such a short time is not only impressive, but needed, considering the difficult landscape and legislation (that) brands are faced with today. We look forward to not only combining our resources but expanding them." (Forbes.com)

High Times revenue generating plans include monetizing their most popular articles, expanding beyond “stoner culture,” and launching 420.com (touted as the “Amazon.com of cannabis).  (Nasdaq.com)

Using Tin Shingle To Research Ideas for Cannabis Based Publications

As you are research media outlets for the great fits for where you should get the word out, Tin Shingle has the Editorial Calendars for these publications, and the Media Contacts to give you an idea of who to pitch.

How To Find Media Contacts - The Quickie Guide

While we research a lot of media contacts on a regular basis, we want you to know how to do it too. There may be 1 or 2 media contacts you want to pitch, and rather than dive into Tin Shingle’s Member-Only Media Contact Library, you may want to take matters into your own hands and do your own research.

We’ve got the article on “How To Find The Right Media Contacts” right here, so take a read and get going on your buzz building!

Sunday's Are Perfect For...Magazine Reading...Here's How To Find The Perfect Media Contact

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You can get into any one of these magazines. Be your business a local shop, or if you’re an expert in your field, or if you’ve developed the perfect toy. Inside the pages of these magazines - and their digital versions - are a myriad of reasons why your business would fit into a story. The key is to unlocking that 1 reason that makes your business a must-write about.

The Perfect Pitch

Sunday's are for being unplugged and dreaming your dreams. That means answering to no one, and listening to the ideas that enter your mind. Being that you're running a business, the ideas #dontstopwontstop. They make you happy! That is why you can use today to discover one special pitch.


Discover The Pitch

You want a feature in a magazine. Or a TV show. Sunday is the day you will pick up 1 magazine, or watch 1 TV show you want your business featured in. You will turn the pages. You will read the articles. You will discover "The Why" of why that writer might cover your business next time. You see how they covered one business, and an idea will click on why they might cover yours.


"Don't I Need To Wait For The Editorial Calendar To Tell Me When To Pitch?"

No. While Tin Shingle does give you instant access to over 100 editorial calendars (Yes, over 100 different publications and growing! Our researcher Yvonne has been busy!), it all comes down to the ideas. Planting the seed.

You can do this. You can plant that seed. You can send a writer an email about your business, just as an FYI, and walk away. You will want to be thinking of so many different story angles. Perfect ones for a particular writer at a particular brand (magazine, digital magazine, TV show). If you’re nervous or unsure about it, you can join Tin Shingle and talk to us in Tin Shingle’s Community using the Pitch Whisperer forum to get feedback.


How To Discover The Best Contact

In your Sunday Reading, here's how you're going to discover who is making the magic. In this video, Tin Shingle's owner and publisher Katie takes you through a little media monitoring of Sift Magazine, a publication that features bakers, bakeries, products, authors, recipes, and more. Another way to discover writers or publications you had no idea about is to tap into Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library, also a perk of membership with Tin Shingle.

Butter! Celebrated In Sift Magazine

I love butter.

My Instagram friends know this. So imagine my delight when I found this book just about butter and “why butter is the reigning champion in our kitchens.” By Dorie Greenspan!

Found while researching King Arthur Flour’s Sift Magazine for our small businesses, artists and maker members at Tin Shingle.

There are features of bakers, authors and products in this magazine. In addition to the oodles of recipe from chef and writer Susan Reid. What a combo - to be a chef and a writer. King Arthur has an entire catalogue of products - which I did not realize - and those are featured in the magazine, as well as treasures from others.

Maybe this could be you. Researching writers now to include them in Tin Shingle’s Media Contact Library.

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