Kierna Mayo (@KiernaMayo, Twitter/IG) serves as Editor-in-Chief, VP, Digital Content. In addition to defining the overall editorial direction for EBONY, this role is responsible for maintaining the tonal and aesthetic consistency of the EBONY brand across all platforms.
“When a magazine changes editorship and embarks on new editorial and creative direction, one of the first discussions is about covers. We have a distinct advantage here at EBONY because we’ve been doing this for 70 years,” says Mayo. “In strategizing about what EBONY needs today, it’s clear that it is time to return to the maverick spirit that gave us our wings in the beginning. We don’t need permission to be daring. Get ready for a new EBONY—smart, modern, forward and totally fresh for a new generation.”
Since taking the helm of EIC in June 2015, Mayo has already been industry recognized on both the Root 100 and Folio 100 as a media game changer. She joined the Johnson Publishing family in 2011 as Editorial Director, Digital and led the branding efforts for the reimagining of EBONY online. Mayo spearheaded the site’s development from concept and wireframes to reality, and was responsible for staff- ing across all verticals and departments.
Under her direction, following the launch of EBONY.com, Ad Age listed EBONY as a 2012 “magazine brand to watch”. EBONY.com was named a “Best Digital Magazine” finalist in the MIN/FOLIO 2013 Best of the Web Awards as well as a 2013 “Salute to Excellence” NABJ digital finalist and winner.
Mayo began her career in the ‘90’s as an early “hip-hop journalist” exploring gender issues within the art form. She later catapulted to co-creator and founding Editor-in-Chief of the ground-breaking Honey magazine. Her writings have appeared in newspapers, academic texts and multiple books including And It Don’t Stop: The Best American Hip Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years. For over two decades, Mayo has covered the intersections of race, women and culture for leading national publications including Essence, Vibe, and Marie Claire among others.
Prior to joining JPC, she was a creative consultant for Black Entertainment Television/Viacom, Editorial Director of Tyra.com, and Senior Editor of CosmoGirl, a Hearst Publication. She is a graduate o f Hampton University.