Johnson Publishing Co. has sold Ebony magazine and its now digital-only sister publication Jet to an African American-owned private equity firm based in Austin, Texas, the company announced.
"We are here to stay," Cheryl McKissack, who has served as chief operating officer since 2013 and will assume the role of CEO of the new publishing entity, told Journal-isms Wednesday by telephone.
McKissack was responding to a question about what she would like journalists to know. "Don't believe everything you hear," she continued. "We are solid going forward. We hope to continue to provide more opportunities for journalists, especially black journalists.
"We hope to be able to offer those in a variety of different platforms."
Robert Channick reported Wednesday for the Chicago Tribune, "Johnson Publishing will retain its Fashion Fair Cosmetics business and its historic Ebony photo archives, which remains up for sale. The deal, which closed in May, also included the assumption of debt."
Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing and daughter of founders John H. and Eunice W. Johnson, said in an e-mailed statement, "This deal allows JPC to reduce its debt associated with the media business and focus its attention on the archives — and continue to invest in its cosmetics business, Fashion Fair Cosmetics.
"Fashion Fair Cosmetics is currently the only African American owned prestige cosmetics company specifically developed for women of color.
"This is the next chapter in retaining the legacy that my father, John H. Johnson, built to ensure the celebration of African Americans. I am pleased to continue as Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company and serve as Chairman Emeritus and member of the board of the new African American led media entity, Ebony Media Operations."
Channick also wrote, "The new publishing entity, Ebony Media Operations, will maintain the magazine's Chicago headquarters and its New York editorial office, as well as much of the current staff, according to Michael Gibson, co-founder and chairman of African-American-owned Clear View Group.
"It is the first investment in the publishing business for Clear View. . . ."
Desiree Rogers, the business executive and former White House social secretary who became CEO of Johnson Publishing in 2010, is to remain in that post, focusing her time on Fashion Fair Cosmetics.
Rogers told Journal-isms that it was "fantastic" that the company was sold to an African American firm.
Other black-owned media properties such as Essence magazine, now part of Time Inc., and Black Entertainment Television, now part of Viacom, were sold to larger white-owned conglomerates as their owners contended that the larger firms would give them access to greater resources.
By contrast, at John H. Johnson's funeral in 2005, broadcasters Tavis Smiley and Tom Joyner explicitly cited Johnson's role in keeping his business black-owned. "He was unapologetically black," Smiley said.
McKissack said it was "extremely important" to sell to an African American firm "because there are not enough African American-owned companies out there left to tell our story. I am thrilled that the company is 100 percent African American-owned."
Gibson, 59, told the Tribune, "We made this purchase because this is an iconic brand — it's the most-recognized brand in the African-American community. We just think this is a great opportunity for us."
He also said, "Growing up, we had Ebony and Jet in our household all along. You knew you made it when you made it to the cover of Ebony or Jet. It is just exciting — I pinch myself every morning."
Gibson and his partner, Houston entrepreneur Willard Jackson, started Clear View only a year and a half ago, Gibson told Journal-isms by telephone. He previously ran Advantis Healthcare Solutions, a personnel company. He and Jackson became aware of the opportunity to buy the Johnson publications in January through an investment firm. "Over the course of a few months, we were able to put together a really good deal," he said.
The Tribune reported that Gibson also said Ebony would "remain in print for the foreseeable future. At the same time, he recognizes the need to ramp up digital growth."
" 'There's a lot of good reasons to keep the print,' Gibson said. 'That will always be our anchor. We want to grow the digital platform more consistently with both Ebony and Jet.' . . . "
McKissack said digital platforms would be a priority, along with special events such as the Power 100 and the HBCU online campus queens competition. Ebony is looking for a broadcast partner for the Power 100, she said.
Greg Dool reported for Folio:, "Not remaining after the transition will be Ebony editor-in-chief Kierna Mayo, who tweeted that she's moving on to become SVP of content and brands for digital publisher Interactive One. She'll be replaced by Kyra Kyles, who had been VP and head of digital editorial for both Ebony and Jet since her promotion from editorial director of Jet a year ago."
The debt that Ebony's owners will assume does not involve J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., McKissack said. In 2011, Johnson Publishing sold a minority stake to J.P. Morgan Chase. That investment stays with Johnson Publishing, she said.
DuJuan McCoy, one of a tiny number of African American television station owners, is buying two stations in Lafayette, La., from Nexstar Broadcasting Co. for $40 million, a development hailed Tuesday by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters as "another positive development for African American television station ownership."
"NABOB is also pleased because this makes DuJuan McCoy — the owner and operator of Bayou, and member of the NABOB Board of Directors — a multiple station operator," James L. Winston, NABOB president, said in a statement.
"In January, 2015, Mr. McCoy purchased WEVV-CBS and FOX D2 and WEEV-LD FOX in Evansville, Indiana, from Nexstar. That Mr. McCoy is making his second purchase from Nexstar speaks well for Mr. McCoy and also for Perry Sook, CEO of Nexstar.
"Mr. McCoy said, 'Perry Sook, CEO of Nexstar should be commended for his continued and conscious effort to improve the dearth of ownership of broadcast TV stations by women and minorities. By doing so, he is helping the FCC further its diversity initiatives while at the same time setting a great example for other broadcasters — large or small, to take note and join his efforts to help self-regulate an endemic industry problem.' ”
Reporting on the development May 27 for WEVV-TV, news director Warren Korff wrote, "WEVV had no news operation until Bayou City purchased the station. Now it produces 51 hours of local news per week.
"Bayou City’s purchase of the stations in Louisiana still needs FCC approval. The deal is expected to close prior to the end of the year."
In 2014, the Federal Communications Commission reported that blacks or African Americans owned nine full-power commercial television stations (0.6 percent) [PDF] in 2013, Hispanic or Latino persons owned 42 (3.0 percent), American Indian or Alaska Natives owned 11 (0.8 percent); and Asians owned 19 stations (1.4 percent).
On May 25, a federal appeals court vacated an FCC prohibition against companies controlling two or more TV stations in the same local market by using a single advertising sales staff, a decision praised as facilitating more ownership by entrepreneurs of color because it eased their financial burden.
However, Winston praised McCoy's purchase as not needing this boost. "Unlike several recent transactions in which African American owners have purchased stations connected with larger media companies through joint sales agreements (JSAs) and/or shared services agreements (SSAs), the Bayou transaction is a completely independent transaction. Bayou will have no JSA or SSA agreements, and it has obtained its financing independently with no loan guarantees from a major broadcaster," he wrote.
David A. Wilson and Dan Woolsey, who founded theGrio.com as one of the first sites to target African Americans and be owned by a major media company, have sold the site again, their company announced on Tuesday.
A product of NBC at its 2009 founding by NBC, then sold in 2014 back to Wilson and Woolsey, its new owner is Byron Allen, a television entrepreneur and former comedian and performer who served as co-host of NBC's "Real People," an early reality show.
Allen formed Entertainment Studios in 1993 and produced such programs as "Comics Unleashed" and the sitcoms "Mr. Box Office" and "The First Family." The studios include such digital channels as Justice Central, Cars.TV and Comedy.TV.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
"We are excited to have TheGrio join Byron Allen's ever-expanding Entertainment Studios media empire," Wilson said in a news release. "Byron shares our vision of growing TheGrio into the leading video content creator and distribution platform for African-Americans. We look forward to developing the next iteration of TheGrio, and the fact that it will remain 100 percent African American-owned is very significant."
Allen said in the release, "David Wilson and his founding partner Dan Woolsey have done an incredible job these past 7 years building TheGrio, and we are one thousand percent committed to continue expanding this digital news community's reach across all global media platforms, including our broadcast television syndication programs, cable television networks, and motion picture division.
"We plan on investing heavily in digital publishing, and TheGrio has an excellent management team, making it the perfect asset to start our portfolio of online publishing."
TheGrio.com ranked 11th on a list of African American-oriented websites submitted to the comScore, Inc.. research firm to determine their popularity in 2015. TheGrio.com had 1,645,000 average monthly unique visitors.
Allen has been battling cable operators over diversiy issues.
Daniel Frankel wrote April 7 for fiercecable.com:
"Allen is accusing operators including Charter and Comcast of sun-shining the important issue of program diversity. Instead of signing carriage deals with worthy, independent programmers which are 100 percent owned by African-American interests, he said, operators are choosing to carry channels like Aspire and Revolt, which are merely backed by one or several prominent African-American personalities, serving primarily as figureheads.
"Last week, Allen followed his $20 billion suit against Comcast over this issue with a complaint to the FCC, accusing the cable company of not living up to the FCC's 2011 diversity mandates that were tied to approval of the NBCUniversal merger.
"Comcast, in turn, accused Allen of playing the race card to get carriage for his channels . . ."
Jacinto “Jay” Torres Hernandez, a freelance journalist and real estate agent who was active in the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, was found dead Monday in Garland, Texas, Garland police reported on Wednesday.
Police are investigating the death as homicide.
"Hernandez was a real estate agent and a frequent contributor for almost two decades to La Estrella, the Star-Telegram’s Spanish-language publication. His byline was Jay Torres," Domingo Ramirez Jr. reported Wednesday for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“ 'His dedication, devotion and passion for journalism will always be remembered by all. He was a person who always focused on covering the Hispanic community in a full, objective and professional manner,' said Juan Antonio Ramos, executive editor of La Estrella. 'But his death also leaves a gap, a huge vacuum for the wonderful friendship that he always gave to so many people. His love for his family, his dedication to his work, his affection for his friends, that's something we will always have with us.' . . ."
"On Monday, June 13, at approximately 7:30pm, Garland Police responded to the report a man found dead in the 4200 block of Mayflower Dr.," police said in a news release. "Officers arrived and observed the body of a man in the backyard of the residence. It appeared that the body had been there for multiple days.
"Garland Detectives were called to investigate and began working with the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office to determine the cause of death. The victim was identified as 56 year old Jacinto Torres Hernandez of Dallas.
"On Tuesday June 14, the Medical Examiner informed detectives that Hernandez died from a gunshot wound. Garland Investigators are working the death as a murder.
"Police are asking for anyone who may have information concerning the death of Jacinto Torres Hernandez to contact the Garland Police Department. Tips can also be submitted to Garland Crime Stoppers at 972-272- 8477 (TIPS) or garlandcrimestoppers.org."
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists added, "Chapter president Karina Ramirez said this in a message to her members: 'He was someone that made our organization one of the best NAHJ chapters in the country. Jay gave much of his time, passion, love, and devotion to HCDFW’s mission… I could always count on him. He would never want to turn away anything I asked him to do.' ”
Jonathan Camuy moved from Puerto Rico to Florida to work for Telemundo, where he was a producer for a popular children's talent competition. (Credit: Facebook)
The devastating massacre in Orlando that left 50 dead early Sunday dominated news coverage Monday. News outlets ferreted out more details about the shooter, hustled to produce profiles of the victims and even took viewers on a tour of the shooter's residence.
Many referred to the tragedy as "the deadliest mass shooting in American history," even though more had been killed in attacks on African Americans and Native Americans before what is sometimes referred to as "recent memory."
The Orlando story became all at once one about terrorism, Muslims, guns, LGBTs, Latinos, immigration and national politics.
Because it was less than a week after the identities of the presumptive presidential nominees were clear, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump weighed in. Trump, annoyed by a Washington Post story headlined, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting,” took the additional step of withdrawing credentials for the Washington Post to cover his campaign.
In one example of the empathy television journalists sought to convey, "Anderson Cooper opened his show tonight with an incredibly moving 7-minute reading of the names of all the Orlando terrorism victims," Josh Feldman reported Monday for Mediaite.
"Cooper not only read the names of all of the victims, but he provided information about as many of them as he could from the people who loved them.
"And multiple times during the entire segment, Cooper was choking up and doing his best to hold back tears. . . ."
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists mourned one of its members.
"Jonathan Camuy moved to Florida to work for a Spanish TV network, where he was a producer for a popular children's talent competition," Annie Martin reported in a story dated Tuesday in the Orlando Sentinel.
"Camuy worked for La Voz Kids, similar to the NBC show 'The Voice,' according to a statement from Mekahlo Medina, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The show is produced in Orlando and airs on Telemundo.
"Camuy is listed as Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega on the city of Orlando's website, but Telemundo's site refers to him as Jonathan Camuy.
"The 24-year-old was [a] member at one of the journalism organization's student chapters in Puerto Rico before moving to Florida to work for Telemundo, Medina wrote. . . ."
Philadelphia's WTXF-TV announced on its website Monday, "We are sending our thoughts and prayers to our own 20-year-old Patience Carter, who was in the Pulse nightclub when Omar Mateen started shooting.
"The gunman shot her in the leg. According to FOX 29 HR Director Megan Young, Patience was in surgery until 12:30 a.m. early Monday morning. When Megan spoke with Patience she sounded very weak.
"We’ve gotten to know Patience because as an Emma Bowen Foundation scholar, she is interning here during all four years of school, and this is her second summer. She is currently a student at NYU.
"We look forward to a speedy recovery and Patience's return to FOX 29.
"Sadly, Patience's friend, Akyra Murray, did not survive the shooting."
"A federal appeals court has voted to uphold a series of strict new rules for Internet providers, handing a major victory to regulators in the fight over net neutrality and ensuring that one of the most sweeping changes to hit the industry in recent years will likely remain on the books," Brian Fung reported Tuesday for the Washington Post.
"The 2-1 court ruling Tuesday forces Internet providers such as Verizon and Comcast to obey federal regulations that ban the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic to consumers. The regulations from the Federal Communications Commission also forbid carriers from selectively speeding up websites that agree to pay the providers a fee — a tactic critics have said could unfairly tilt the commercial playing field against startups and innovators who may not be able to afford it. . . ."
In February 2015, when the net neutrality rules passed the FCC on a 3-2 vote, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists rejoiced.
"NAHJ has been the leading voice in journalism supporting Net Neutrality over the past decade," it said in a news release then.
"The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has supported network neutrality since the beginning to preserve a free and open Internet and to ensure that all Internet users can access content or run applications and devices of their choosing without manipulation or discrimination.
" 'This is a historic day. It's the result of hard work of Latinos committed to open access without obstacles', said NAHJ's President Mekahlo Medina. . . ."
"The political ideologies for the New York Daily News and the New York Post are well-documented," J.D. Durkin reported Monday for Mediaite.
"While the right-leaning Post has largely used snark to speak to the millions of conservative New Yorkers, the more liberal Daily News has used its bully pulpit in recent years to target gun ownership and the NRA. In fact, the executive vice president of the NRA — Wayne LaPierre — has become public enemy number one, and the News has gone as far as to label him 'Jihadi Wayne.'
"On Monday morning, each of the New York dailies predictably focused their cover stories on the Orlando massacre from early Sunday morning that left 50 people dead in a gay night club. However, given the many layers of the tragedy, the Post and Daily News took two very different approaches. . . ."
"Donald Trump is rescinding the Washington Post’s credentials to cover his campaign events, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said Monday in his latest attack on the press," Nolan D. McCaskill and Joe Pompeo reported Monday for Politico.
“ 'Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,' Trump posted on Facebook.
"Trump had posted to Facebook nearly 20 minutes earlier 'to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is.'
“ 'I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting" as their headline,' Trump said. 'Sad!'
"In a statement, Washington Post editor Marty Baron said the decision would be damaging to a free and independent press.
“ 'Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press,' Baron wrote. . . . 'When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically, and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.'
"The Trump campaign has banned a number of news outlets from attending his events and press conferences over the past year, including POLITICO, Univision, The Des Moines Register, Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post. . . .
" 'The Washington Post article Trump appeared to be balking at now has the headline “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” The report includes a series of comments the candidate made on the morning news shows about Sunday's mass shooting in Orlando that left 49 dead and at least 53 injured. It originally had the headline "Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting." . . .' "
On Tuesday, the American Society of News Editors echoed the Post's position, adding, "We urge the Republican Party to return to its historical support for openness and transparency and call on both the party and its presumptive nominee to reverse course on these undemocratic sanctions and attempts at censorship. In the meantime, we encourage news outlets to ignore, reject and oppose all unconstitutional restrictions that any party, candidate or government official attempts to impose."
As journalists including the evening news anchors and reporters on the scene described the Orlando massacre as "the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history," black and Native American journalists with more than the average knowledge of history begged to differ.
"I can't help but notice that virtually all the broadcast media coverage quickly labeled this atrocity 'the worst mass murder in American history,' " Roger Witherspoon, a black journalist who sits on the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists wrote to colleagues Monday. "The statement is both racist and false.
"It completely ignores the wholesale murder of civilian blacks by white groups. The Tulsa, Ok riot is one. but for the record books, there is the Colfax Massacre of April 13, 1873, when a group of armed whites attacked black freedmen trying to vote and gunned down more than 100. Two of them were brought to trial in a case called US v Cruikshank, named for the lead plaintiff. . . ."
The Twitter feed of Howard W. French, an associate professor of journalism at Columbia University, listed others: "The 1917 East St. Louis Massacre, 100-200 killed. http://ow.ly/74eU301e0NF . . . The Elaine Massacre, Arkansas 1919, as many as 800 killed. ow.ly/H1Or301e0xc . . . ."
Doug George-Kanentiio, a Native American activist who is vice president at the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge at Syracuse University and a founding member of the Native American Journalists Association, wrote on indianz.com:
"The murder of 50 people on June 12 in Orlando, Florida where a single man armed with an assault rifle and pistol has become a tragic continuance of massacres in US history, most of which were directed at Native people.
"Some say what happened in Orlando was the worse in American history but that is not so.
"The first large, organized assault in the colonial era took place in May of 1637 when Captain John Mason directed a force of militia and Natives to surround and attack the main Pequot town in southeastern Connecticut, set it afire and killed every elder, child, woman or man who tried to escape. Over 700 died. . . ."
After listing other mass killings of Native people up until 1871, George-Kanentiio concluded, "The Orlando killer is dead. But for the Native victims who were also deprived of their lives in the most profound, horrible manner the murders escaped punishment and in many instances have had their acts of depravity sanctioned by having streets and towns named in their perverted honor. Such is what passes as 'history' in the US."
In March, the Native Sun News published a longer list, urging that a museum be built at Wounded Knee to honor all Native Americans massacred in America.
In an essay Monday for NPR, Eyder Peralta said some listeners complained that NPR was whitewashing history when it decided to call Orlando "deadliest mass shooting in the U.S." To the atrocities listed above, listeners added the “Mountain Meadows Massacre," in which Mormons slaughtered 120 civilians in southern Utah on Sept. 11, 1857.
The network consulted Grant Duwe, the director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, who "wrote one of the most exhaustive histories of mass murder in the United States.
"He says he sees two distinctions between mass murders that occurred before and after the 20th Century. Before 1900, most mass murders were perpetrated by the 'haves' against the 'have nots.' After 1900, mass murders began being perpetrated by the 'have nots' against the 'haves.' Another difference is that before the 20th Century few mass murders were perpetrated by a single person. . . ."
Peralta said that NPR concluded, "in service of precision, history and what we may not know, what happened in Orlando on Sunday was the deadliest mass public shooting in modern U.S. history."
Unfortunately, NPR journalists continued to declare Orlando "the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history."
And its "List Of The Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. History" goes back only as far as 1966.
Univision reporter Fernando Peinado took viewers Monday on a tour of the apartment used by Omar Mateen, the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre.
"Family photos and drawings of his three year old son decorate the walls (Spanish) . . ." Peinado reported.
"On a blackboard in the kitchen, a message recalled that Mateen and his wife Noor had an appointment at the school of their son on July 13. In another slate Arabic phrase Al Hamdullillah (Praise God) . . . was written.
"Univision News had access to the house Monday Mateen in Fort Pierce, Florida, on the morning after the FBI recorded for evidence. The apartment had not been protected by safety belts.
"On the living room table, a document listing the objects that had been requisitioned: 9 mm cartridges, an Ipad mini Apple, Samsung phone, a Dell computer, a CD with a label Omar Mateen . . ."
The scene was reminiscent of the media scrum created last December in Southern California when dozens of reporters and TV news crews entered the home of the two shooters in the San Bernardino massacre. Then, people on social media complained in real time, accusing journalists of voyeurism or worse. MSNBC later apologized for briefly showing images of photographs and identification cards that it said should not have been aired without review.
Jose Zamora, a spokesman for Univision, said that the FBI and police had finished their work in the apartment and that anyone could walk in. Peinado shot his own footage.
Meghan Keneally reported the Univision story for English speakers on ABC News.
Chris Ariens, TVNewser: Guest Storms Off News Show During Orlando Massacre Debate
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: A horrible day for Orlando, gay pride and U.S. history
Tyler Cherry, Media Matters for America: Media Must Not Let Trump Reduce The Orlando Conversation To Semantics About “Radical Islam”
Tyler Cherry, Media Matters for America: Trump Ridiculed After Insinuating Obama Is Complicit In Orlando Attack
Kevin Eck, TVSpy: Station Groups Pitch in to Help Orlando Stations Cover Shootings
Editorial, Boston Globe: Prayers aren’t enough. The US needs fewer guns.
Editorial, Chicago Sun-Times: Orlando massacre screams of terror, guns and hate
Editorial, Daily News, New York: Saving lives after Orlando: Following the Pulse nightclub massacre, the nation must confront the twin dangers
Editorial, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Slaughters rise to no response
Sandro Galea, Boston Globe: After Orlando, will we say ‘enough’?
Andrew Gibson and Charles Minshew, Orlando Sentinel: Orlando nightclub shooting: Read about the victims
LZ Granderson, the Undefeated: Hate, guns, mass shootings and yet nothing gets done
Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: Monday’s Orlando Sentinel leads with a front-page editorial
Mark Joyella, TVNewser: Does Media Showing Terrorist’s Face Provide ‘Free PR’ to ISIS?
Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Sorry Donald, Muslim immigrants haven’t been involved in most mass shootings in American history
Diana Marszalek, Broadcasting & Cable: Orlando Massacre Consumes Local, Network TV
Media Matters for America: Guardian Writer Calls Out Lack Of LGBT Voices In News Coverage Of Orlando Shooting
Benjamin Mullin, Poynter Institute: New York Times editor: After Orlando shooting, don’t editorialize on social media
Amber Phillips, Washington Post: After Orlando, the right points to radical Islam, while the left points to guns, hate
Charles P. Pierce, Esquire: Donald Trump Picked the Wrong News Editor to F*ck With
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Orlando nightclub massacre provides another painful, telling test for America
Brian Steinberg, Variety: TV News Scrambles To Cover Orlando Shooting Tragedy
Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: Guns? Terrorism? Hate crime? Media go to their corners in reporting on Orlando.
James Warren, Poynter Institute: Wall-to-wall tragedy TV as press covers Orlando
"For years after boxing great Cassius Clay adopted the Muslim faith and changed his name, his hometown paper refused to call him Muhammad Ali," the Associated Press reported on Monday.
"Fifty years later, The Courier-Journal, Louisville's daily paper, apologized for continuing to call him Cassius Clay after he changed it in 1964. It did not consistently refer to him as Muhammad Ali until 1970.
"Ali died June 3 and an estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of Louisville to say goodbye to the city's most celebrated son during his funeral Friday.
"Executive Editor Neil Budde wrote Monday's editorial that chronicled how the paper for years either ignored Ali's preferred name or outright mocked it.
" 'We won't even try to speculate what the motives of the editors in that era were,' he wrote. 'The CJ was certainly an early champion of civil rights and desegregation. Yet we took what in today's light is an oddly hostile approach on the specific issue of Ali's name, which did little to help race relations in a turbulent time.'
"The paper was among many newspapers and magazines across the country that continued to call him Cassius Clay for years after he changed his name in keeping with his Islamic faith. . . ."
Danny Wicentowski, Riverfront Times: Tony Messenger Had Perfect Response to a Caller Who Refused to Say Muhammad Ali's Name (June 8)
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