Johnson celebrates 50th.

Author:Scott, Matthew S.
Position:Johnson Publishing Co.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Johnson Publishing Co., the nation's 2nd largest black-owned business. Starting with its first publication, Negro Digestin 1942, Johnson. Publishing has expanded into new markets while remaining the nation's premier black-owned media company.

According to Johnson Publishing Chairman and CEO John H. Johnson, the BE 100s company is drive, n primarily by its three magazines: Ebony, Jet and Ebony Man. It's top publication, Ebony, has a worldwide readership of 10 million and will turn 50 in 1995. The media company also owns and operates three radio stations, produces two television programs and coordinates a book publishing division. And through' Fashion Fair Cosmetics and Supreme Beauty Products Co., Johnson Publishing has established a strong presence in the cosmetics and hair care industries. The company's diversity has helped its revenues climb continuously from $81 million in 1981 to $261 million last year.

Johnson says that although the company's magazines have accounted for most of the company's success, a new route will be needed to remain profitable. "I see us moving further into television programming and emphasizing greater development of cosmetics and hair care products," he says.

In October, the company introduced "Ebone," a new line of cosmetics for women of color targeted for the mass market. There are also plans to market a three-part videotape series called The...

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