Johnson Publishing Company


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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 Lincolns 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. Johnson Publishing Company is privately held, and its chairman is the founders 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. 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. The company produced Ebony/Jet Celebrity Showcase, a spinoff television show from the two magazines that debuted in August 1982. It was eventually pulled off the air because Johnson H. Johnson was dissatisfied with the quality of the guests. After a one-year hiatus, it returned to syndication with a shortened title and an expanded format with segments on diet, fashion and health. Ebony/Jet Showcase, a weekly, nationally syndicated TV show hosted by Greg Gumbel and Deborah Crable debuted in September 1985. By the shows 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.