Magic Johnson, the 50-year-old former LA Lakers basketball star, is in discussions to buy Johnson Publishing Co., which prints Ebony and Jet magazines and owns an archive of powerful photographs documenting black like in America.
Although no final agreements have been announced, “there have been discussions,” Eric Holoman, president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, which already works with Starbucks Corp., 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc. and T.G.I. Friday’s Inc., told Bloomberg.
Ad revenue at Ebony, one of the oldest and most successful black magazines, declined 38% to $35.5 million in 2009, according to Publishers Information Bureau. So Johnson surely won’t be making millions more if he acquires the company. But bringing Ebony into the fold will help boost his image as a monied mogul willing to scoop up an ailing magazine that has powerful, cultural significance.
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