It’s all in the family as Ebony’s Johnson Publishing named Kierna Mayo, a graduate of historically black Hampton University with a BA in Mass Media Arts, as Editor-in-Chief at Ebony.
“Get ready for a new Ebony,” Mayo said, adding that she wants to bring back the maverick spirit at Ebony.
[quote_box_center]Mayo, 45, will work out of the company’s New York office. She was hired at the magazine in 2011 as its editorial director and has been leading the magazine since Miller’s departure. The publication has produced three issues under her leadership, including covers that featured hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, talk show host Wendy Williams and, for its current issue, singer Beyonce Knowles’ mother, Tina Knowles Lawson.
Mayo, who was a co-creator and founding editor-in-chief of Honey magazine, says she aims to revive a “maverick spirit” at Ebony that the magazine had in the 20th century, using a probing and provocative approach that tackles topics from celebrities to race relations. She also has written for Essence, Vibe and Marie Claire magazines, among other publications, the company said in a statement.[/quote_box_center]
Founded by businessman and publisher John H. Johnson, Ebony has published continuously since the autumn of 1945, and has been trying to find its footing in a digital world. In February, FAMU alumnae Mitzi Miller stepped down from the Editor-in-Chief position at Ebony quite abruptly “to start a new chapter in my life.”
[quote_right]Get ready for a new Ebony[/quote_right]
Ever since Ebony’s Johnson Publishing had been searching to fill the important executive editor role.
“In addition to defining the overall editorial direction for Ebony, this role is responsible for maintaining the tonal and aesthetic consistency of the Ebony brand across all platforms,” according to a press release.
A 20-year professional writer about culture and lifestyle for various major national magazines including Essence, Marie Claire, Glamour, Seventeen, Vibe and Uptown among others, Mayo is confident about what’s next for Ebony:
“In strategizing about what EBONY needs today, it’s clear that it is time to return to the maverick spirit that gave us our wings in the beginning,” Mayo said. “We don’t need permission to be daring.”
“We have a distinct advantage here at EBONY because we’ve been doing this for 70 straight years,” said Mayo.
Tommy G. Meade Jr. is the Editor-in-Chief at HBCU Buzz. Follow him on Twitter.