Ebony Drags Feet on Freelancer Payments Despite Barrage of Criticism

first_imgThis article has been updated to reflect a response from Ebony.Faced with the threat of a second lawsuit in 12 months, Ebony has completed the third of four quarterly payments owed to freelance writers it had stiffed on a collective $78,000 of work going back to 2015—after initially failing to meet a court-ordered Sept. 28 deadline.The installment of $29,850—which covers 14 of the 45 total writers under the terms of a February settlement between Ebony owner Clear View Group and the National Writers Union—comes after two earlier installments of $14,385 and $15,955, both of which were paid on time. A final $18,328 payment is due Dec. 28 to 16 writers.After the Sept. 28 deadline came and went, the writers union threatened further legal action to compel payment from CVG, which is bound by the agreement—reached in the circuit court of Cook County, Ill.—to cover the payments should Ebony find itself unable to make them.“CVG was about three weeks late and wasn’t returning calls or emails,” National Writers Union president Larry Goldbetter tells Folio:. “After the [court] filing, the checks went out.”Michael Gibson, the chairman of CVG—a Texas-based private equity firm which bought Ebony in 2016—declined to share any reasons for the delay, but confirmed that the third set of checks have been mailed and said the fourth and final payment will be made in December. A spokeswoman for Ebony blamed “legacy business issues” for the outstanding payments. Michael GibsonAs writers awaiting overdue checks aired grievances on social media in recent weeks, Ebony promoted a star-studded gala celebrating its annual Power 100 list set for Friday evening at the Beverly Hilton—the site of the Golden Globe Awards since 1961—hosted by Chris Tucker.“I got my check at the end of October and was shocked to receive it, to be honest,” says Adrienne Gibbs, who served as managing editor of Ebony‘s January 2017 issue among other contributions, adding that another writer in that issue, Rashod Ollison, passed away last month from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma before ever receiving his $900 check.“I talked with [Rashod’s] sister and made sure CVG—via the union’s lawyers—had his sister’s address,” Gibbs adds. “Rashod’s check was ‘in the mail’ for weeks even as he died and was raising money for medical bills.”The controversy ramped up in April of last year, when freelancer Jagger Blaec wrote an article on The Establishment asking, “Why Isn’t Ebony Paying Its Black Writers?” On Twitter, aggrieved freelancers coalesced around the hashtag #EbonyOwes, eliciting initial pushback from both Ebony and CVG vice-chairman Willard Jackson, who accused Blaec of writing an “attack article” and “wanting to tear down black businesses.”“Yeah well, your little Twitter rant isn’t going to change the way the media business is run,” read a deleted Tweet from the official Ebony account. “Y’all acting like it’s 100s of people. It’s 10.” (Turns out it’s at least 45.)Adrienne GibbsWeeks later, however, CVG issued a statement to NBC, asserting that it would pay all debts by early July 2017. When that deadline passed, the National Writers Union became involved, led by Goldbetter and Gibbs.Following the completion of the third quarter payment, the oldest outstanding invoice is now from this past March, and the most any individual writer is owed is $2,650.“In the time since we have started this case, I’ve heard from 10 additional writers who wanted to join the suit,” says Gibbs. “The whole situation is just sad. Every time a new story surfaces, even more people come out of the woodwork.”Gibson disputed this article shortly after it was posted, writing via email, “This story as we see it is completely inaccurate.” Asked which aspects, specifically, are inaccurate, Gibson referred Folio: to Katrina Witherspoon, SVP of marketing for Ebony, who gave the following statement:While unfortunately EBONY was contacted to provide limited response to only one question from Folio pertaining to this particular matter, Michael Gibson made it clear the company has satisfied all outstanding payments with the National Writers Union.As we have stated previously, all prior issues related to payment obligations to former freelance writers were the result of legacy business issues that predated the new business model put in place by Ebony’s current management. Furthermore, as it relates specifically to freelance writers, Ebony has instituted a policy that now provides increased transparency regarding payment terms and conditions for freelance writers we engage.The brand will continue to endure and evolve with a digital first strategy, ensuring its persistence and relevance for decades to come.last_img read more

Super Bowl 2019 melee pits Tom Brady Payton Manning for NFLs 100th

first_img 2019 TV shows you can’t miss The NFL is officially launching its 100th anniversary celebrations with Super Bowl 53, and it sure went big for the kickoff party.The league’s 100-Year Game commercial features a who’s-who of players current and past, including Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, retired QB Payton Manning, running back Barry Sanders and newer stars Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield.  Post a comment Sam Gordon, a Utah Girls Tackle Football League running back, takes a star turn at the end of the ad when she shows off a wicked spin move.Anybody who loves the NFL may want to give the 100th-season video a rewatch to catch all the cameos. It’s an energetic start to the league’s big celebration.  Tags Aug 14 • Raising the entry-level bar Super Bowl 2019 Feb 28 • Last chance to get 3 months of Mint Mobile service for $20 The theme centers around a stately black-tie gathering that descends into madness as the players tussle over a golden football. It’s not just on-the-field names who participate in the food fight/pickup game. The ad also highlights play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins and Sarah Thomas, the NFL’s first full-time female official.  50 Photos More Super Bowl reading • Super Bowl 2019 melee pits Tom Brady, Payton Manning for NFL’s 100th season Sports May 7 • 2020 Toyota Supra first drive review: More reset than reboot 0 Share your voice Super Bowl 2019 • Best Super Bowl 2019 commercials ranked: Harrison Ford, The Dude, the Backstreet Boys and more Avengers, Captain Marvel, Twilight Zone: All the must-see Super Bowl 2019 trailers Super Bowl 2019: New Avengers: Endgame trailer shows heroes at their best Super Bowl 2019 commercials: Watch them all here Super Bowl 2019 memes: Game of Thrones, SpongeBob, Adam Levine’s nipples SpongeBob SquarePants barely shows up at Super Bowl 2019 halftime show See all of our Super Bowl coverage Feb 7 • Every Avengers: Endgame character flash at the start of that Super Bowl trailer See Alllast_img read more

Indias Youth Ride High on Union Budget

first_imgThe country’s youth have several reasons to cheer about the Budget, with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sticking to Narendra Modi’s ambition of galvanising the large demographic group to push development of the country. India is said to have one of the largest youth population in the world, with two-thirds Indians below the age of 35 years.The Union Budget holds several schemes and promises that look set to bring the country’s youth to take charge in the future.From offering them skills training and giving them incentives to start businesses, to setting up sports facilities and premier educational institutes, the government’s Budget looks to capitalise on this age group.Skill India Programme: This national multi-skill programme announced by the government on Thursday is meant to train the youth in several professional skills. With an emphasis on employability and entrepreneurial skills, the government has set aside ₹100 crores for this programme. It will also provide training and support for traditional professions like that of welders, carpenters, cobblers, masons, blacksmiths, and weavers.Young Leaders Programme: “The youth of India are pragmatic, forward-looking and wish to be leaders in all fields. In order to promote leadership skills, I propose to set up Young Leaders Programme with an initial allocation of ₹100 crore,” the finance minister announced on Thursday. Jaitley allotted another ₹100 crore to promote village youth to take up entrepreneurship.Facilitating jobs: Jaitley said the government would work towards converting employment exchanges set up under the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959 that primarily offer information on availability of jobs into career centres, where the youth will also be offered counselling on selecting jobs based on their aptitude and skills.₹10,000 crore assistance for start-ups – In order to help entrepreneurial youth in the country to start up their own businesses, the government has set aside a ₹10,000 crore fund to provide venture capital for the micro, small and medium enterprises. It also announced ₹200 crore for establishing a technology centre network to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.Five more IITs, IIMs: The Modi government has decided to take the number of IITs and IIMs, the most premier institutions in the country, up to 21 and 18 respectively. The government also announced that four medical instutions on the lines of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) will be set up in the country.National-level Sports Academies: The current state of sports in the country is much below the international standard, and the focus of the government was to ensure the youth of the country get good sports facilities. The government has assured that academies with international-level facilities for training of accomplished athletes and for nurturing talent at junior and sub-junior level will be set up for shooting, archery, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting and various track and field events. Jaitley also announced ₹200 crore for upgrading the indoor and outdoor sports stadiums in Jammu and in Kashmir Valley to international standards.Sports University: The government has allotted ₹100 crore to set up a national sports university at Manipal.Amendment to Apprenticeship Act: Jaitley promised that the Apprenticeship Act will be suitably amended to meet the current needs of the industry as well as the youth. “Comparing the size of the Indian economy, the performance of the Apprenticeship Training Scheme is not satisfactory and a large number of training facilities in the industry are unutilised,” he said during his speech.last_img read more

BNP vows to end misrule restore democracy

first_imgBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoThe Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Saturday took a fresh vow to continue its movement for ‘ousting’ the ‘monstrous’ government to ‘restore’ democracy and people’s rights.“We’re taking a pledge on this day of our founding anniversary to continue our struggle to remove the monstrous government, and free our leader Khaleda Zia for the restoration of democracy,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.He hoped that their party’s efforts to end ‘misrule’ will turn out to be a successful one very soon, reports UNB.The BNP leader came up with the remarks while talking to newsmen after placing wreaths at the BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave along with party’s leaders and activists, marking its 40th founding anniversary.He alleged that the government has snatched people’s basic rights and destroyed all the democratic institutions. “It’s now the main challenge for the BNP to restore democracy and people’s rights.”Several hundred BNP leaders and activists together with Fakhrul, party standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Abdul Moyeen Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury gathered at Zia’s grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital around 10:00am and paid homage to their party founder by placing wreaths.They also offered a munajat seeking eternal peace for Zia’s departed soul.Meanwhile, the party and its associate bodies are celebrating its 40th founding anniversary with various programmes.On 1 September 1978, late president Ziaur Rahman founded the party with a 19-point programme to build a self-reliant Bangladesh.The party holds a public rally in front of its Naya Paltan central office at 2:00pm.Party senior leaders said they have a plan for a ‘massive showdown’ in the rally to invigorate its rank and file ahead of the next general elections.Earlier in the morning, the party flag was hoisted atop the BNP’s Naya Paltan central office and all other offices across the country, marking the day.Besides, the party’s associate bodies and its all units across the country are marking the day holding various programmes, including discussion meetings.The party will also organise a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh on Sunday.The party is celebrating the founding anniversary this year without its chairperson Khaleda Zia as she has been in jail since 8 February after a lower court convicted her in a graft case.After the assassination of Zia on 30 May 1981 in Chattogram, his widow Khaleda Zia took over the party leadership.In its 39 years’ journey, BNP had been in power for four times and was in the opposition bench twice. But following the 5 January 2014 election boycott, the party is now out of parliament.The BNP has been out of power for over 11 years since the 1/11 political changeover.Senior leaders of the BNP think they are passing through the toughest time since the party’s foundation as it is out of power for a decade, but they hope it will turnaround very soon braving all the odds and obstacles.last_img read more

RAB detains youth over Facebook post

first_imgMembers of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in a drive arrested a young man from Shekherkhil area in Banshkhali upazila of Chattogram on Sunday for posting ‘anti-state remarks’ on his Facebook, reports UNB.The arrestee is Md Jahidul Islam, 20, son of Md Ishhak of the area.On information, a team of RAB conducted the drive around 5:20pm and arrested Jahidul along with his mobile phone, said a RAB press release.Jahidul used to share anti-state and provocative posts and contents on Facebook, and posted photos of the prime minister and the law enforcing agencies with defamatory caption, said the press release.last_img read more

A tribute to Kishore Kumar

first_imgTo pay tribute to the legendary playback singer – Kishore Kumar, the Kishore Kumar Memorial Club organised a cultural programme at Pyarelal Bhawan, New Delhi recently. The programme was inaugurated jointly by an eminent promoter of Art and Culture in the country –Lala Ram and Amarjeet Singh Kohli, who is the Chairman of the organisation ‘Sakha’. K J Alphons, Tourism Minister, Government of India was invited as the Chief Guest at the event. Besides, the 17th Kishor Kumar Awards were also conferred to deserving artists who were present on the occasion in his memory. Apart from that, The Tourism Minister also released the book written by Kamal Dhiman on the life and times of Kishore Kumar ‘Filmmaker Kishor Kumar’ on the occasion. A rare Photo Exhibition on the life and works of Kishor Kumar was also organised on the occasion to commemorate this great play back singer of the country.last_img read more