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CLEVELAND LIFE

CLEVELAND LIFE, a black community magazine, debuted in October, 1994. President and publisher James "Ricky" Crosby, an African-American, and chief executive Lou Reyes, Jr., a Hispanic, desired to create a publication that would highlight and serve middle- and upper-class blacks in the area. Rather than focus merely on problems of the inner city, they desired to celebrate the every-day achievements of successful blacks as role models. Life Publishing Co., the local organization formed to publish Cleveland Life, also initiated a subsidiary activity, Life Events, Inc., which sponsored business expositions tailored to the needs of African-Americans, including one-day Black Family Expos and Minority Career Fairs, beginning in the 1995 holiday season. By January 1998, the monthly publication had grown to a circulation of over 50,000, and the owners had plans to start an additional weekly called This Week. However, Crosby shortly left the publication to make an unsuccessful bid to purchase the failing inner city black newspaper, CALL & POST, which went instead to boximg promoter Don King's King Media Enterprises, Inc. As sole publisher, Reyes came under criticism by Black on Black 2000 for attempting to represent the black community as a non-African-American. Reyes defended his operation by pointing out that his executive editor, Jon Everett, and more than 50 percent of his staff were black. However, Reyes engaged in numerous squabbles with his employees over the next few years. Everett left the publication in mid-March 2001 over the owner's desire to broaden the newspaper's target audience to include Cleveland Hispanics, and he started his own monthly, Pharaoh Magazine, in July of that year.