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06.21.07 10:14 PM

Kenard Gibbs named Group Publisher of EBONY and JET magazines

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 Company.”

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, Kenard Gibbs 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 Entertainment Group.

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 Massachusetts.

“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.

(source: Johnson Publishing Company Press Room)

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