Time Inc. already
owns Essence, a monthly lifestyle magazine for African-American women. Viacom, meanwhile, owns BET. Ebony's woes seem to dash hopes that African-American-owned or -oriented media would see a big
lift in the marketplace with the election of Barack Obama. Rice is a close member of the Obama's Chicago social circle.
It's unclear if negotiations are presently underway between Ebony and any potential rescuers. Rice, given the magazine's historical significance and its deep roots in her family, hopes to remain an integral part of the publishing company, say sources. This suggests she prefers to woo a partner rather than sell the magazine outright.