The company that took over the revered magazines Ebony and Jet allegedly fired the Ebony online editorial staff this month — without paying them.

Former social media director Joshua David and another employee who requested anonymity confirmed that the digital editorial staff—comprised of three writers, one videographer and David—were terminated via a call from a human resources representative of Clear View Group, the Texas-based investor group which owns the two publications, according to The Root.

The terminations are the latest controversy to hit the struggling publication that has chronicled Black life in America since 1944.

David, who provided the Root with a recorded phone call and an email in support of his claim, spoke of concerns about the company that surfaced a while back, when his superiors initially refused to address the allegations leveled against the company with the emergence of #EbonyOwes, the social media campaign started by unpaid freelance writers.

Those concerns became a reality on May 30, when while conducting an interview for a future story, David received an email informing him of a “delay in payroll” the day before he was to receive his paycheck.

“There was no confirmation as to when [we would be paid],” David told The Root. “Only that they don’t have the capital to pay us.”

According to a report on, the magazine’s previous owner, Johnson Publishing Co., filed for bankruptcy liquidation in April, which Ebony said would not affect its operations.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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