A group that includes veteran journalist George E. Curry has purchased Heart & Soul, a health-and-wellness magazine targeting African Americans, and named former Latina magazine editor-in-chief Sandra Guzman its top editor as part of an effort to broaden its focus.
"Racial and ethnic minorities constituted 91.7 percent of the U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2010 and are projected to make up a majority of the country's population by 2042," a Wednesday announcement said. "By broadening its audience, Heart & Soul becomes the only national publication that targets multicultural women ages 21 to 55 in the health, fitness and wellness category."
In her biography, Guzman lists herself as "an award winning, multi-media journalist with many years of experience in broadcast, newspapers and magazine journalism. I've labored in them all," she said. ". . . I was also a former Associate Editor at the New York Post, editing 10 special feature sections for the paper including, Tempo, a section I created that covered the city's Latino community."
Guzman is one of three former Post employees with lawsuits pending against the newspaper, accusing it of racism and sexism.
She will be "the primary person responsible for guiding 'Heart & Soul' into a new era," Curry writes in the first issue under new management. "She begins her association with us by writing this issue's cover story on three, 30-day challenges that will change your life. . . . Guzman, who was born in Puerto Rico and reared in New York City, prides herself on both her Black and Latino heritage."
The news release began, "Heart & Soul magazine, an 18-year-old national wellness publication, has been purchased by Brown Curry Detry Taylor & Associates, LLC (BCDT), a media content company based in Silver Spring, Md.
"Clarence I. Brown, BCDT president and CEO, announced today that the company acquired all assets of Heart & Soul Enterprises, LLC, the parent company of the magazine, from its owner, Edwin V. Avent, a Baltimore-based businessman."
No purchase price was disclosed.
" 'We are excited about our acquisition of this important brand and readers will quickly notice a revamped, first-rate edition and a more engaging digital version of Heart & Soul,' said Brown. 'We will focus on repositioning the brand back to fitness, health and wellness and broadening the content, the audience, and the advertisers.'
". . . BCDT, which stands for Brown, Curry, Detry and Taylor, was formed by four highly-respected media and marketing veterans: Clarence I. Brown, George E. Curry, Patrick H. Detry and Pamela E. Taylor.. All the principals have past ties to Heart & Soul. Brown was responsible for daily management of the magazine when it was owned by BET, Curry was editor of Emerge when Heart & Soul was part of the BET magazine group and Detry and Taylor provided consulting services to Edwin Avent, the former owner."
Avent announced on Oct. 11 that he had resigned as president and publisher. The Hollywood Reporter announced later that month, "An ambitious new TV broadcast service targeting African Americans in the southern United States called the Soul of the South Network plans to spend at least $10 million by early next year to launch in at least 50 markets offering entertainment, sports, news and cultural programming."
Avent is chairman of the new network's parent company, SSN Media Group.
Kendra Lee is remaining as executive editor and Debra Moore, associate art director at Emerge when Curry was editor-in-chief in the 1990s, is creative director. Yanick Rice Lamb, the previous editor-in-chief, is now editor-at-large. Curry is executive vice president/content and editorial director.
Avent has told Journal-isms that the magazine, published six times a year, has a circulation of 300,000.
The new owners have promised to compensate a group of angry writers who say they are owed more than $200,000 in back pay.
One of the most unusual and headline-grabbing defamation lawsuits in recent memory has ended quietly, with Keith Clinkscales, the former ESPN senior vice president, withdrawing a suit against a former colleague. Fello w executive Joan Lynch reportedly alleged that Clinkscales masturbated under an iPad while sitting in an airplane next to ESPN sports reporter Erin Andrews.
"The parties have resolved their differences and the legal matter has been withdrawn," Rob Tobias, an ESPN spokesman, told Journal-isms on Wednesday.
The accusation carried racial and gender dynamics, and its timing was considered a pre-emptive move by Clinkscales.
"Clinkscales, who is black, claims Joan Lynch, who is white, lied about him to fellow colleagues because he was promoted over her to senior vice president of content development," Scott Shifrel and Bill Hutchinson reported in November for the Daily News in New York. Lynch was vice president and executive producer of ESPN's Content Development group, which Clinkscales headed.
"The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Criminal Court hours before Deadspin.com quoted an anonymous source detailing Clinkscales' alleged midair incident with Andrews."
The court filing by Clinkscales' lawyer, Judd Burstein, ensured that the allegations would become public. The filing gained international attention, with newspapers such as Britain's Daily Mail detailing the accusations.
But according to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a "notice of voluntary dismissal" was filed on Nov. 23, just three weeks after Clinkscales filed the suit, demanding a jury trial.
Tobias, Clinkscales and Burstein all told Journal-isms Wednesday they could not comment further on the case. "I can't say anything," Burstein said by telephone. Clinkscales did say, however, that he is continuing to produce work for ESPN as well as tend to his new production company under an arrangement announced when he left the network.
Clinkscales had been with ESPN for six years, most recently supervising ESPN's publications and a media incubator that produced such prize-winning movies and specials as "30 for 30."
ESPN dispersed the functions of the Content Development department that Clinkscales had headed since 2007.
Lynch left ESPN this month and could not be reached for comment.
As Michael O'Keefe reported in the Daily News in November, Clinkscales' lawyer alleged that "Lynch conducted a smear campaign against his client, falsely claiming that he had fondled himself while sitting next to Andrews on a March 2011 flight. Lynch also lied when she told ESPN colleagues that Clinkscales assaulted her in a production truck in 2007, according to the lawsuit, which seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages."
"Ebony is pulling back the curtain on a new website Wednesday, the latest step in Johnson Publishing Co. CEO (and former White House social secretary) Desiree Rogers' effort to reverse years of ad declines and stay relevant with African-American readers," adweek.com reported on Wednesday.
"Shepherding the revamp is Ebony editor in chief Amy DuBois Barnett, who was hired away from Harper's Bazaar last June. Before Bazaar, she served in editorial leadership roles at Teen People and Honey. She arrived shortly after Ebony got a major redesign, with a new logo and more articles about lifestyle, wellness and business success stories.
"The once-plain looking Ebony.com is now striking visually. The site's content is now organized around Ebony-branded topics like Blacklisted and Discuss, and features news from across the Web alongside homegrown content. There's more entertainment, wellness, and lifestyle content. Archived content also is featured.
"Barnett said her goal was to make the site more competitive as rival news and gossip sites have sprung up."
Ebony added in a news release:
". . . EBONY.com showcases a specially designed homepage carousel that fades images in and out as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the magazine cover and celebrity shoots. The 'Speak' video roundtable series covers conversations by key bloggers and thinkers on topics relevant to the African-American community. . . ."
"The number one rule young journalists are taught when starting radio broadcasting is simple: No dead air. Cough into the microphone if you must, but don't allow silence to creep in," Chris Arsenault reported Wednesday for Inter-Press Service and Al Jazeera.
"For websites, going offline is the same premise ‹ a definite faux pas. Despite this, Wikipedia, Reddit and other leading sites blacked out on Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the legislation which, critics say, will curtail freedom of speech by censoring internet content."
John Eggerton reported in Broadcasting & Cable that "According to [Rep.] Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), whose district is home to many [Silicon] Valley critics of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) . . . more than 10,000 Web sites have joined the protest of the bill."
However, Thomas Carpenter, general counsel of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, issued a statement supporting the legislation.
". . . The content industries employ millions of people, many of whom have good-paying middle-class union jobs, and it's one of the few industries where the US actually has a trade surplus," Carpenter wrote. "But law enforcement doesn't have the same tools available to stop the trafficking of stolen content abroad, that they have stateside. This legislation would fix that. An important provision of the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act allows only the Department of Justice to go to federal court to obtain an order for a search engine to stop linking to a foreign criminal website. Then ‹ and only if ordered by a judge ‹ will search engines simply be required not to return search results that include links to a specified foreign rogue site."
* American Society of News Editors: Anti-piracy legislation opposed by ASNE stalls
* Emil Guillermo blog: No "yahoo!" for a "Yahoo-less" Yang; He's free, but the internet may not be
* Tracie Powell, Poynter Institute: What journalists need to know about SOPA
* Alexis Garrett Stodghill, theGrio.com: SOPA and PIPA: Why anti-Internet piracy bills matter to the black community
"Juan Williams has been receiving quite a bit of attention in the aftermath of Monday night's GOP debate. Williams, who moderated the event, had a confrontational exchange with Newt Gingrich that earned him boos from the audience," the Huffington Post reported Wednesday.
"The Fox News contributor had raised criticism that Gingrich's comments about food stamps and poor children's work ethic were 'intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities.' Gingrich had said that if invited to speak to the NAACP, he would urge black people to demand paychecks instead of food stamps. Williams asked, 'Can't you see that this is viewed at a minimum as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?' " [According to the New York Times, Gingrich actually said in Plymouth, N.H., "If the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention, talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps." Emphasis added.]
"On Tuesday's 'The Five,' he explained why he asked the question. When co-host Eric Bolling insisted that Gingrich's comments were about economics and not race, Williams disagreed. He said, 'It's very racial and… unless [I] missed it, black people [haven't] been out there demanding food stamps, or marching for food stamps.'
" 'I don't think [Gingrich] answered the question at all,' he said. . . . [Video].
"It seems that Williams' moment in the spotlight is not over. A pair of profiles in Vanity Fair were released on Wednesday. One, discussing his career before he came to NPR, was particularly negative. The article portrays Williams' career as an ego-driven march to the top intertwined with sloppy journalism and workplace scandals.
"The second piece, a broader look at Williams' fallout with ‹ and firing from ‹ NPR, is not much kinder to him, casting him as an over-priced star who held the network hostage due to his fame and its lack of black voices. Interestingly, writer David Margolick reveals that the comment that got Williams fired from his radio job ‹ when he told Bill O'Reilly he worried when he saw people in 'Muslim garb' on planes ‹ was no off-the-cuff remark, but was actually a carefully planned line."
* Perry Bacon Jr., theGrio.com: Is Obama vs. Romney also Occupy Wall Street vs. Bain Capital?
* Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, Washington Post: Electorate is sharply split over Obama, poll finds
* Lili Gil, Fox News Latino: South Carolina Debate Touches on Race, Equity on MLK Day
* Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: NYT and the Racism Bog
* Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: What Do NPR's Right-Wing Critics Have to Complain About?
* Carlos Harrison, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Hispanic Evangelicals, Longtime Republican Stronghold, At Odds With GOP On Key Issues
* Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: Speaking in the forked tongue of racial codes
* Jim Romenesko blog: Letter: Where's the Stephen Colbert-Herman Cain coverage?
* Ray Sanchez, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Latino Voters 2012: Exhilaration Over President Obama Turns To Dread And Disappointment
* Edward Schumacher-Matos, NPR: Santorum, Race and the Limits of Journalistic Fairness
* Sarah Seltzer, AlterNet: The Four Most Racist, Fearmongering and Absurd Moments from Last Night's Debate
* Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post: Gingri ch's statements on matters of race and poverty get cheers, criticism
* Mark Trahant, indianz.com: Repeal of 'Obamacare' not likely after election
* Joan Walsh, Salon.com: GOP crowd uses Juan Williams as an Obama stand-in
The Detroit Free Press produced this video at the Tuskegee Airmen National Museum in that city, introducing viewers to a few of the remaining Tuskegee Airmen, the subject of George Lucas' new film "Red Tails," which tells the story of black WWII fighter pilots. Interspersed is dramatic battle footage from the movie.
In another promotion for "Red Tails," which premieres on Friday, radio's syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show" plans to broadcast the show from Atlanta on Friday, with an on-air concert featuring Ashanti, SWV and Estelle.
". . . You see, I am the son of the Tuskegee Airmen program," Joyner wrote on Monday. "My father and mother came to Tuskegee to be a part of history. My daddy was a cadet and my mom a secretary for one of the white commanders. . . ."
* Adrienne Samuels Gibbs, Ebony: Red Tails: the Black Top Gun?
* Bomani Jones blog: "Why It Doesn't Matter If I Go See Red Tails"
* Cassia King, Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University: Journalism professor receives MLK Award for documentary work
"At a meeting on Saturday in Highland Park I met the reporters who chronicled L.A. as a Las Vegas of Mexican boxing, the ones who busted their asses getting a four-page extra out in 1985 after the big one hit in Mexico City, the ones sent to New York just after 9/11 and found families of the undocumented World Trade Center workers posting their loved ones' pictures next to those of six-figure brokers," Adolfo Guzman-Lopez reported Tuesday for KCET-TV in Los Angeles.
"This is the Asociacion de Periodistas Latinos de California. A four-year-old group made up mostly of laid-off or fired La Opinion reporters and editors. The meeting was called to kindle a new fire. . . .
"Spanish-language reporters need a place to gather, said the association's current president, Cruz Alberto Mendez, as he opened the meeting at a small law office. The group needs a new president, someone who can breathe new life into the organization. Mendez has worked in newspapers for more than 50 years. . . . .
"He'd like to see the association offer a legal defense fund and life insurance for Spanish language reporters. He'd also like to sow the seeds for Spanish language newspapers in cities with Latino mayors ‹ he says there are about 30 in California. These newspapers would hold officials accountable.Taliban Say They Killed Reporter Working With U.S.
In Pakistan, "Unidentified gunmen killed broadcast journalist Mukarram Khan Aatif in a mosque north of Peshawar today, according to news reports," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported on Tuesday. "Aatif was a correspondent for private TV station Dunya News and also worked for Deewa Radio, a Pashto-language channel of the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Voice of America, news reports said.
"The journalist was praying in a mosque near his home this evening when two gunmen entered the mosque, shot him several times, and fled on motorcycles, police told reporters. . . . An imam at the mosque was also injured in the attack, according to news reports.
"Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan called The Associated Press and said the Pakistani group took responsibility for the killing, the AP reported. Ihsan said Aatif had been warned 'a number of times to stop anti-Taliban reporting, but he didn't do so. He finally met his fate.' "
* Agence France-Presse: Pakistan journalist working for US media shot dead
* Editorial, Dawn, Pakistan: A chilling message
* Editorial, Intelligencer/News-Register, Wheeling, W.Va.: Taliban Prove They Are Our Enemies
* "The Associated Press has opened its newest bureau here, becoming the first international news organization with a full-time presence to cover news from North Korea in words, pictures and video," John Daniszewski reported Tuesday from Pyongyang, North Korea. "In a ceremony Monday that came less than a month after the death of longtime ruler Kim Jong Il and capped nearly a year of discussions, AP President and CEO Tom Curley and a delegation of top AP editors inaugurated the office, situated inside the headquarters of the state-run Korean Central News Agency in downtown Pyongyang."
* Robert Taylor, a former news director, news reporter and general manager at WHUR-FM, Howard University's radio station, died Jan. 9 at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, his sister, LaRue Bonner, told Journal-isms. Taylor, 61, had bone cancer, she said. Taylor worked at WHUR, a donation from the Washington Post that went on the air in 1971, from 1973 to 1985. He wrote for the black press until his illness. According to the Washington Informer, under Taylor, the "Daily Drum" with Kojo Nnamdi became the most listened to news program in the Washington area. Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday at Tucker's Funeral Home, 415 Halifax St., Petersburg, Va., according to a death notice in the Progress-Index in Petersburg.
* "Maria Lopez Alvarez has been named senior vice president of alternative programming at Telemundo Media. A 26-year veteran of Univision, Alvarez will report to Alina Falcon, Telemundo's executive vice president of news and alternative programming," Michael Malone reported Tuesday for Broadcasting & Cable.
* Medill News Service reporter Donesha Aldridge found herself in the middle of an ethics debate after she "couldn't make a Lincoln Park Redistricting Meeting but still wanted to write about it, so she turned to the Everyblock Chicago online community for help," Jim Romenesko wrote Tuesday on his media blog. " 'I need a few residents' perspective of how the meeting went for my story,' she wrote. The you-know-what quickly hit the fan! 'Bob from Lincoln Park' and others went after the Medill grad student for her post. 'Please excuse me if I question the professionalism of your journalism,' he wrote. 'Why were you not there?' " Medill professor Marcel Pacatte defended his student.
* Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has appointed Naomi Patton, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, as his press secretary, Suzette Hackney reported for the Free Press on Wednesday. "She covered Detroit City Hall from May 2008 to August 2010." Patton starts Monday.
* In Los Angeles, "In what looks like a direct response to the John and Ken controversy from last September, Clear Channel has hired former NBC4 anchor David Cruz to host a daily afternoon talk show on KTLK (1150-AM) from 3-6 p.m.," Marcus Vanderberg reported Saturday for FishbowlLA. "The David Cruz Show starts Monday and will air at the same time as John and Ken on KFI." The John and Ken radio show became the target of an advertising boycott after hosts John Kybolt and Ken Chiampou gave out the business cellphone number of DREAM act advocate Jorge-Mario Cabrera.
* In the District of Columbia, "For months, Chinese and American workers have been constructing a multi-floor TV studio complex on New York Avenue NW," Paul Farhi wrote Sunday in the Washington Post. "Within a few weeks, China Central Television (CCTV) ‹ the nation's state-run international broadcaster ‹ intends to originate news broadcasts produced by a staff of more than 60 journalists hired in recent weeks from NBC, Bloomberg TV, Fox News and other Western news organizations."
* Danielle Belton, founder of "The Black Snob" website, began a "10 Things We're Talking About" column in the January issue of Essence magazine. In the same issue, Belton was one of three woman describing how "the recession forced them to awaken to their true power and a new reality." "The mid-2000's were rough for me," Belton wrote. "I'd worked as a staff writer, sometimes columnist and blogger for The Bakersfield Californian. During that same time I went through a divorce and was diagnosed with type II bipolar disorder, which led to various hospitalizations and medications."
* "The design whizzes over at C&G Partners have many talents, but among the most mind-blowing is their ability to transform grayish-yellowish mountains of historical documents and artifacts into visually stunning, user-friendly exhibits and displays," Stephanie Murg wrote Tuesday for UnBeige. "Feast your eyes (and your web browser) on their latest archival triumph: a website for The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. . . . At the core of the site, which launched yesterday, is a new digital archive for The King Center Imaging Project, a JPMorgan Chase & Co.-backed initiative to 'bring the works and papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. to a digital generation.' ²
* "Ecuador's National Assembly has approved President Rafael Correa's changes to the Democracy Code, which goes into effect Feb. 4 and prohibits news media from transmitting beneficial or harmful messages about candidates, reported El Diario," Tania Lara wrote for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. "The new electoral reform in effect restricts media from organizing political debates or interviews that would allow voters to understand the candidates' proposals, according to Ecuavisa."
* "Eight journalists who protested about the closure of [a] TV station in Somaliland were arrested. And then 13 more journalists who went to their aid were also arrested," Roy Greenslade reported for Britain's Guardian newspaper. "They were already alarmed by the arrests of a further four journalists the previous week."
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.