Thursday, January 19, 2006
Benzino and Mays Ousted From The Source
It's finally happened.

This comes after a tumultuous week in which Mays had sought a temporary restraining order against his new board of directors. He had also fired Dasun Allah and installed himself as editor-in-chief, completing the cycle of events begun in September 1994 with the first editorial walkout.

The full article by the NY Post's Keith Kelly is below:

In the latest tug of war for control of The Source Entertainment Inc., founder David Mays and the longtime president, rapper Ray "Benzino" Scott were ordered out of their jobs by the newly constituted board of directors after a temporary restraining order blocking the move was lifted.

Four of the six board members voted to fire the duo last week and instead install Jeremy Miller, a one-time chief operating officer, as the new chief executive of The Source.

Scott and Mays had gone to court last week to obtain a temporary restraining order in New Jersey, where they reside, to block the axing while they prepared a lawsuit against the new board.

Yesterday, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Gerald Escala lifted the temporary restraining order, effectively clearing the way for the firings.

The Source was once known as the hip-hop bible, but in more recent years has seen its ad pages and circulation tumble.

Last month, it dropped out of the Publishers Information Bureau, which tracks ad page tallies for major consumer magazines.

Mays and Scott remain defiant and are still pursuing another action in New Jersey, claiming the new board illegally seized control of the company.

The attorney for Mays and Scott, David Finkler, did not return a call from The Post yesterday, but earlier said that his clients feel the new board is not valid.

The genesis of the new board goes back about four years ago, when Black Enterprise Greenwich Street Corporate Growth Partners, a private-equity firm controlled by the Graves family, made a $12 million investment in The Source.

When The Source ran into a cash squeeze, the Graves family introduced them to Providence, R.I.-based Textron Financial Corp., which loaned the magazine $18 million.

Textron in October claimed that The Source had defaulted on its loan and sought to have the New York State Supreme Court appoint a receiver to supervise the company, but in late December the bid was rejected.

A State Supreme Court judge ruled that despite Textron's eight-figure exposure and a litany of mismanagement complaints at the magazine, the lender had no more rights than other creditors.

Yesterday on the Web site, Mays said he had fired Dasun Allah as editor-in-chief and instead installed himself in the top editorial spot.

Allah, who also goes by the name David Blanks, was indicted on charges of spray painting a Jehovah Witness church in Harlem in November and is due back in Manhattan Criminal Court on Feb. 9.

Mays said on the Web site, "Right now I am taking the role of editor-in-chief. There were just other issues that caused this to happen in this particular way."

He did not return calls from The Post. Miller, the newly installed CEO, could not be reached for comment.

The new board includes Earl "Butch" Graves Jr., the CEO of Black Enterprise, plus three others: Ivan Hopkins, Jeffrey Scott and Ed Williams, who are part of the investment firm. Charles Simpson, an attorney representing the board, said of Mays latest claim, "He's terminated, so he is not going to be doing anything."

As of late yesterday, despite the board action, Mays remained in the company's new office at 11 Broadway.

posted by Zentronix @ 12:16 PM   6 comments links to this post


At 1/21/06, 3:12 PM, Blogger Roque said...

Still can't believe it took this long. Does The Source really have a future, though?

At 1/31/06, 2:38 PM, Anonymous Al said...

Personally, I'm very glad that this move was finally made. The Source has been steadily losing its street credibility over the past couple of years, mostly due to the antics of Benzino himself. The same kids in the hood who used to hold The Source in great esteem, now find the magazine to be extremely biased. It has gotten to the point where many of today's most repected rappers get hated on in every issue, and naturally, the loyal fans of these artists would not but the magazine at all, rather than hear all the slander and ridicule in its pages. This has definitely attributed to the lack of recent sales and credibility of the magazine.

At 2/1/06, 5:10 AM, Anonymous LNHStyles said...

I totally agree that this move has been "a long time coming." Many people who read The Source before still continue to read, but with a somewhat diminished idea of the credibility it once had. I know for myself when I read I am usually only reading to get a general overview of the industry these days, and typically it is skewed even still. In previous years, I could go to The Source and actually believe the information presented whereas now it is simply a ridiculous struggle between money and power. What happened to the whole point of the be "the source" for news and information on the hip hop community???

At 2/1/06, 8:40 AM, Blogger cbfreeru said...

I am so glad this is finally over with. When a magazine that used to be the voice of hip-hop begins to let money get in the way of the truth, it is bound to fail. It was getting to the point where you could basically buy yourself into the whole magazine cover and all. The same artist was on the cover six times in one year!!!The Source has lost so much credibility now, it will be years before it even begins to reclaim the respect of the streets. With all the competition now from other magazines, it might be too late for The Source to come back at all. I would be coming up with a plan for lots of street marketing, and street articles, with less bullshit.

At 2/1/06, 9:40 AM, Anonymous swifton1 said...

I agree with the overall attitude of the other comments here. I feel like The Source has taken on so much personal beef and sided with one person or another on whatever issue that it was too hard for them to be the biased 'source' that we used to look for it to be. I too don't think that it will ever gain the credibility that it once had and am glad that something has been done to retain the fuel that has leaked from its pages for a long time. The industry in itself has enough issues and problems to deal with, we don't need a medium like The Source to continue to let personal opinions and problems plague our society in the name of the almight dollar and self gain.

At 2/1/06, 10:19 AM, Blogger NeNee said...

In agreeance with the comments, I am glad that this has finally happened. Because of Benzino, the credibility of The Source has been attacked. I think this mainly came about because his career never took off the way he felt it should've. Hopefully the damage is not irreversible.


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