Amy Barnett
Amy Barnett

MANAGEMENT & ORGANIZATIONS
Adjunct Professor of Management & Organizations

Print Overview

An award-winning media executive and brand architect, Amy DuBois Barnett’s vision has shaped the pages and websites of Harper's Bazaar, Essence, Teen People, Honey magazine and Ebony, where she is currently Editor-in-Chief of the oldest and largest African-American magazine in the country (audience of over 10 million). At Ebony, Barnett executed the publication’s first top-to-bottom redesign in its 68-year history to critical acclaim. She also introduced key new editorial franchises (Ebony Beauty Awards, Black Wealth issue, 50 Finest) as well as groundbreaking editorial packages (Multiracial in America, Can We Save Detroit, Black Men in America, Election 2012). In addition, she re-conceived and re-launched Ebony.com with a new mission and message.

In 2011, Ebony’s achieved rate base grew by 11%, and Ad Age listed Ebony as one of the 25 fastest growing magazines in the country based on circulation. Since re-launch, Ebony.com’s unique visitors have grown by 500%. Ebony won a record-breaking eight Salute to Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2012. Ad Age listed Ebony as a 2012 Magazine Brand to Watch and minOnline listed Ebony as one of the top five advertising gainers in the industry for the June 2012 issue. Barnett was named the 2012 Media Executive of the Year by Target Market News. In 2013, she was included on the Folio 100, a list that honors the most innovative and influential professionals in magazine media.

Most recently, Barnett was the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar where she served as right hand to publishing legend, Glenda Bailey. Prior to Harper’s Bazaar, Barnett was the Editor of Teen People, entering history books as the first African-American woman in the country to head a major mainstream consumer magazine. With Barnett’s editorial redesign, Teen People grew to lead the teen category in audience (14 million) and reader satisfaction scores increased to their highest levels since the publication’s launch. Her groundbreaking redesign of TeenPeople.com made it the first media website to incorporate video into its regular content.

Before Teen People, Barnett served as Editor-in-Chief of Honey magazine (targeting urban women in their 20s and 30s) for nearly three years where she oversaw a major redesign of the magazine that doubled its rate base and generated national buzz for the previously unknown brand.  She also launched Honeymag.com and integrated the brand’s online and print content.  Prior to Honey, Barnett was with Essence magazine, heading up the publication’s style content and lifestyle department. She was also a founding editor of the internet’s first comprehensive luxury style website, FashionPlanet.com, and its sister magazine, Fashion Almanac.

Barnett has appeared weekly as an on-air correspondent for CNN’s American Morning and has been featured on many national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Katie Show, Nightline, and on various programs on VH1, MTV and BET.

A Brown University graduate, Barnett also has an M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a certificate in Fashion Merchandising from Parson’s School of Design. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Barnett is the author of the NAACP Image Award-nominated advice book for women, Get Yours! How To Have Everything You Ever Dreamed Of And More (Doubleday/Broadway Books, 2007). She is also a published fiction author whose work has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

For her pioneering work as a journalist, style expert and writer, Barnett received the Trailblazer Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists, an Aldo award for fashion journalism from the Fashion Association, and a Hurston/Wright award for creative writing.  Barnett is on the board of the American Society of Magazine Editors and is a member of the Fashion Committee of the School of the Arts Institute in Chicago, the Communications Coordinating Committee of the American Heart Association and the Brown University Media Relations Advisory Council.

Barnett has lived in 12 cities on three continents, and is fluent in French. She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, but currently resides in Chicago with her seven-year-old son, Max.

Print Vita
Education
Master of Fine Arts, 1998, Creative Writing, Columbia University
Certificate, 1993, Fashion Merchandising, Parsons School of Design
Bachelor of Arts, 1991, French and Political Science, Brown University

Other Professional Experience
Editor-in-Chief, Ebony Magazine, 2010-present
President, Polymath Media, 2008-2010
Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Harper's Bazaar, 2007-2008
Managing Editor (Editor-in-Chief), Teen People, 2003-2005
Editor-in-Chief, Honey Magazine, 2000-2003
Lifestyle Editor, Essence Magazine, 1999-2000
Fashion and Beauty Features Editor, Essence Magazine, 1998-1999
Editor-in-Chief, Inside New York, 1998-1998
Managing Editor, fashionplanet.com, 1996-1998

 
Print Research

 
Print Teaching
Full-Time / Part-Time MBA
Changing Business Models in the Media Industry (MEDM-916-B)
In this class, students will get a comprehensive view of media business models by interacting and learning on media they all currently use and enjoy (Facebook, AMC, VH1). We will get behind the models to understand the key leverage factors for what makes successful models work, and why some tried and true media models are failing rapidly. Students will come out of this class with an appreciation for the business of the media, with visits from highly experienced executives in the media business making the very decisions we will be discussing in class. Overall, expect to go on a full journey understanding the media world through the focused business view on the business models that support the entire industry.