Johnson Publishing Company

Johnson Publishing Company
Industry Mass Media
Founded November 1942 (1942-11)
Founder John Harold Johnson
Eunice Walker Johnson
Headquarters 200 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois[1]
Key people
Linda Johnson-Rice
Desiree Rogers
(chief executive officer)
Products Books
Revenue US $90 million (2013)[2][3]

Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. is an American publishing company founded in November 1942 by businessman John H. Johnson. Headquartered at 200 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Led by its flagship publication, Ebony, Johnson Publishing is the largest African-American-owned publishing firm in the United States. Johnson Publishing Company also published Jet magazine, a weekly magazine from November 1951 until June 2014. The company operates a book division, which has published books such as The New Ebony Cookbook and the more controversial Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream.The company produced the 1954 film The Secret of Selling the Negro Market, which was designed to encourage advertisers to promote their products and services in the African American media. In 2016, Johnson announced the sale of its publications and the creation of a new publisher by the new owner called Ebony Media Corp. The specialty cosmetics business will be retained by Johnson.[4]


Johnson Publishing Company is privately held, and its chairman is the founder's daughter Linda Johnson-Rice. Desiree Rogers serves as the chief executive officer since 2010. In January 2011, the company sold its headquarters of 39 years located at 820 S. Michigan Avenue to Columbia College Chicago. Completed in 1972, the building was the first African-American owned in downtown Chicago.[5] In July 2011, it was announced that JPMorgan was to become a partner in the company. CEO Desiree Rogers stated that they hold a 'minority stake' and presence on the board.[6]

JPC headquarters, 1973. Photo by John H. White.

Ebony/Jet Celebrity Showcase

The company produced Ebony/Jet Celebrity Showcase, a spinoff television show from the two magazines that debuted in August 1982.[7] It was eventually pulled off the air because Johnson H. Johnson was dissatisfied with the quality of the guests.[8] After a one-year hiatus, it returned to syndication with a shortened title and an expanded format with segments on diet, fashion and health.[9] Ebony/Jet Showcase, a weekly, nationally syndicated TV show hosted by Greg Gumbel and Deborah Crable debuted in September 1985.[10][11] By the show's third year in 1987, it became the only Black-syndicated program to reach 92 percent of Black U.S television households and 73 percent of U.S. television households, strengthening its position as the No. 1 Black-oriented interview and entertainment show.[12]

Hair Care Cosmetics/Ebony Fashion Fair

In addition, Johnson Publishing produces a line of hair care products (Supreme Beauty) and cosmetics (Fashion Fair) marketed for African-American women. Each year it hosts the Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling fashion show started in 1958 by Eunice W. Johnson that raises money for scholarships and charities in cities across the US and Canada.


Discontinued Publications


Former Divisions


  1. Johnson Publishing Company - Contact Us
  2. What Will We Really Be Losing in the Ebony/Jet Share Buyout?
  4. "JPMorgan Becomes Minority Investor in Johnson Publishing Co.". EURweb. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2012-04-23. External link in |work= (help)
  5. "Ebony/Jet tv celebrity showcase set to air in Atlanta; Washington, D.C.". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 62 (25): 58. 1982-08-30. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  6. Anderson, Charles P. (2005-06-21). "Ebony's Man". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  7. Ebony/Jet Showcase. TV Guide. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  8. "Ebony/Jet Showcase". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. 40 (11): 148. September 1985. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  9. "Ebony/Jet Showcase in TV debut". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 69 (1): 60. 1985-09-16. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  10. "Backstage". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. 43 (2): 23. December 1987. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  11. 1 2 "Newsmakers: Debut of 'Ebony South Africa' continues Ebony magazine's 50th anniversary celebration". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 89 (5): 36. 1995-12-11. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  12. Ebony jr! (microform), Record No. b10212098. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  13. Henderson, Laretta (2008-07-15). Ebony Jr!: The Rise, Fall, and Return of a Black Children's Magazine. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810861348.
  14. Johnson, Abby Arthur; Johnson, Ronald Maberry (1991). Propaganda and Aesthetics: The Literary Politics of African-American Magazines in the Twentieth Century. University of Massachusetts Press. p. 162. ISBN 0870234021.
  15. Lomotey, Kofi (2009). "Negro Digest". Encyclopedia of African American Education. 1. SAGE Publications. p. 490. ISBN 1412940508.
  16. Tan confessions (microform), Record No. b13837818. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  17. 1 2 Roberson, Patt Foster (1994). "Johnson H. Johnson". In Riley, Sam G. American magazine journalists, 1900-1960, Series 2. Dictionary of literary biography. 137. Gale Research. p. 132. ISBN 0810353962.
  18. Tan (Chicago, Ill.), Record No. b11834957. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  19. Black stars (microform), Record No. b10311894. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  20. Hue (Chicago, Ill.), Record No. b14153584. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  21. Copper Romance, Record No. b10707697. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  22. Ebony Man: EM, Record No. b11612236. New York Public Library Catalog. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  23. Hinds, Julie (1993-10-06). "Expressing Culture -- E Style, An Afrocentric Catalog, Is The Latest Entry In The Hot `Ethnic' Market". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  24. "Remembering Johnson H. Johnson". Ebony. Johnson Publishing Company. 60 (12): 92. October 2005. Retrieved 2012-12-28.
  25. "Publisher's Statement: Four decades of the most important events and the most important people". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company. 81 (5): 4. 1991-11-18. Retrieved 2012-12-28.


External links

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