Former NBA Star Ulysses Bridgeman Purchases Ebony Magazine
Former NBA star Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman recently purchased Ebony Magazine for $14 million through his company Bridgeman Sports and Media.
The Black media company was up for sale after going bankrupt in July 2020.
"When you look at Ebony, you look at the history not just for Black people, but of the United States,” Bridgeman told the Tribune. “I think it’s something that a generation is missing and we want to bring that back as much as we can.”
Bridgeman, 67, retired from the NBA in 1987, after 12 years. He played for Milwaukee Bucks for 10 seasons before moving to the Los Angeles Clippers. After retiring invested in, and owned, over 100 Wendy's and Chili's restaurants before selling them in 2016.
He told the WSJ that Ebony portrayed Black excellence adding that he sees no reason it could not regain its old status. He also said that while there will be monthly print publications, it will remain largely digital.
Ebony wasn’t his first attempt to buy a media organization. He made an effort to acquire Sports Illustrated but later abandoned the idea last year. He is now the owner of Lenexa-based Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company whose distribution territory includes Kansas, Missouri, and Southern Illinois.
The magazine was forced into Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in July by its creditors for defaulting on $10 million in loans, according to Chicago Tribune. However, the bankruptcy was converted into a voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization in September, the Tribune added.