Aug 10, 2010 9:19 PM by Alison Haynes
CHICAGO (AP) - Former White House social secretary Desiree
Rogers, who resigned after an uninvited couple crashed a state
dinner, was named Tuesday as chief executive officer at Johnson
Publishing Company Inc.
The Chicago-based company, which publishes Ebony and Jet
magazines, is the largest black-owned and -operated publisher.
Rogers, 51, had been consulting for Johnson Publishing for two
months and took over daily operations on Tuesday, according to a
"My attraction (to the job) and reasons that I thought I could
have an impact is that I believe these brands are iconic brands
that are true symbols of America," Rogers told The Associated
Rogers, who has an MBA from Harvard University, stepped down
from her White House position in February, months after Michaele
and Tareq Salahi crashed the Obama administration's first state
dinner. Rogers faced criticism for her role in the embarrassing
Rogers declined to discuss whether the party crashing incident
had anything to do with her departure from the White House. She
said she had enjoyed working there.
She also said she left for many reasons, including the desire to
do different jobs. She is a New Orleans native whose experience
includes director of the Illinois Lottery, president of the Chicago
area Peoples Gas and North Shores Gas and president of social
networking at Allstate Financial.
Rogers said her first goal with Johnson Publishing is to learn
her way around the company. Then she hopes to help the magazines
better engage readers and stay relevant, particularly when many
media companies are struggling.
"You can't rest on past laurels. We've got to work on a
dialogue," she said. "We do have to do more on the digital
Johnson Publishing CEO Linda Johnson Rice will remain chairman,
according to the company.
"Desiree has a proven track record of successful business
leadership," Rice said. "She is a long-standing confidant and a