Kenard Gibbs named
group publisher of Ebony and Jet, also heads licensing division Gail Huggins
Porter named director of new EBONY/JET Entertainment Group
7, 2007) Kenard Gibbs, former president of Quincy Jones’ brainchild—VIBE
magazine—has been appointed group publisher of EBONY and JET magazines and
president of the newly formed EBONY/JET Entertainment Group. As group
publisher, Gibbs will oversee the advertising sales, event sponsorship,
marketing, research, digital sales and production departments for EBONY
and JET magazines.
Gibbs will also oversee the newly formed EBONY/JET Entertainment Group, a
subsidiary of its parent company, Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. (JPC).
This will include the creation of branded entertainment content through
developing original and/or acquiring content to be distributed through
theatrical, broadcast, cable and digital platforms including Video On
Demand (VOD) and mobile.
“Kenard has an exceptional record of achievement and significant
experience in the business, finance and publishing industries, and I am
very excited that he will help to strengthen our growth strategy
initiatives,” said Linda Johnson Rice, president and CEO of JPC. “He is an
incredibly bright, creative and innovative business leader who has a keen
sense of direction and passion for the future of Johnson Publishing
As former president of VIBE magazine, Gibbs oversaw all business
development strategies and was responsible for all advertising sales
revenue, event marketing, digital platforms and public relations. Gibbs
also expanded the VIBE brand beyond print to mediums including broadcast,
mobile and VOD. He also spearheaded the launch of VIBE VIXEN, a fashion
and beauty magazine geared toward women.
Under Gibbs’leadership, VIBE became a prominent brand for reaching the
elusive 18- to 34-year-old multicultural audience by developing a variety
of multimedia platforms with properties including the VIBE AWARDS
franchise and the WEEKEND VIBE syndicated show, both of which he served as
executive producer. In addition, he directed the efforts of VIBE on
Demand; a strategic partnership with Comcast, VIBE branded CDs and the
VIBE MusicFest. He is also the current founder/partner of Madvision
Gibbs, who has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment and
publishing industries, holds a master’s degree in marketing and finance
from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He
also has a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Williams College in
“I am honored to be responsible for future developments of strong iconic
brands with such a meaningful legacy in the African-American community.
Both EBONY and JET have untapped potential with regard to branded
entertainment and will prove to be valuable assets to distribution and
content partners who are seeking to connect with the African-American
community,” said Gibbs. “We are prepared to meet the challenge of
establishing our leadership position in the digital landscape as the
brands have had for years in the print world.”
In addition, Gail Huggins Porter has been appointed director of the
EBONY/JET Entertainment Group. She is an accomplished attorney with more
than 15 years in the music and broadcast fields in positions such as
motion picture literary agent for International Creative Management (ICM),
vice president of video production for Def Jam and LaFace Records and
senior vice president for Cathage Motion Pictures Inc./Baby Blue
Productions. Most recently, Porter served as producer of the film
adaptation of the stage play For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When
The Rainbow is Enuf, slated to be directed by Nzingha Stewart.
Gibbs will also oversee the Licensing division at JPC. Lisa Butler, who
most recently served as senior corporate counsel of JPC, is now assistant
vice president of Licensing. In addition to overseeing the company’s
current licensing agreements with Dan River and American Greetings, she
will direct the development and legal oversight of JPC’s consumer
products/licensing initiatives and assist in creating a strategic
licensing program to effectively connect the company’s well-established
brands with quality manufacturing and retail partners.
Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., founded in 1942 by the late media
pioneer John H. Johnson, is the world's largest African-American-owned and
-operated publishing company. Led by President and CEO Linda Johnson Rice,
the company has established businesses in publishing, cosmetics and
fashion. Eunice W. Johnson is secretary/treasurer.
ATTENTION BOOK CLUBS
AND BOOK LOVERS!
Black Issues Book Review
presents the National Book Club Conference - Chicago to be held on
Friday and Saturday, August 24 and 25, 2007, in downtown Chicago at the
InterContinental Hotel .
Hundreds of book club members will be engaged in dialogue with some of the
nation's leading African American authors, including Tina McElroy Ansa,
Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant.
in its eighth year of publication, Black Issues Book Review is
the only nationally distributed magazine devoted exclusively to covering the
latest news and reviews on black books. BIBR also provides up-to-date news on forthcoming author
signings, book fairs and book clubs.
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