Ebony to pay freelancers $80,000 to settle lawsuit after #EbonyOwes campaign
Ebony Fails to Make Payment on Money Owed to Freelancers
Under the terms of the settlement, reached late Monday afternoon, Ebony Media and its owner, Texas-based private equity firm CVG Group, will pay out the full amount claimed by the freelance contributors in quarterly installments over the course of the year. Ebony does not admit liability or wrongdoing in the settlement. A monthly African-American lifestyle magazine launched in Chicago in , Ebony has struggled with everything from getting issues delivered to subscribers on time to paying freelancers since it was sold by Johnson Publishing to CVG Group in May for an undisclosed price. The settlement comes after a yearlong public feud between the Ebony freelancers and the magazine, which failed to pay more than four dozen writers, photographers, videographers and graphic designers for their work, according to the lawsuit.
Visual journalist Pedro Vega, Jr. It was dated May 5, a Friday. But on May 4, Vega got a call from the human resources division at Clear View Group, the entirely black-owned Texas-based private equity firm that bought Ebony last year. By Friday, the day Vega had planned to resign, the Chicago Tribune reported Ebony was laying off almost a third of its editorial staff and downsizing its Chicago headquarters to consolidate editorial operations in Los Angeles with sister publication Jet. But plenty of his fellow journalists who worked for the magazine, myself included, are still awaiting checks.
I spent a good amount of the Saturdays of my formative years sitting in beauty salons with my mother, thumbing through issues of Ebony and Jet magazines while I waited in between services. Those magazines represented everything about blackness and black media to me. That is why the current state of affairs at Ebony magazine has me so disturbed. Ebony is dying. The payments would be made quarterly, beginning with the oldest invoices first.