People – March 2011

Ken Gibbs was named chief operating officer and executive editor of Gibbs? new role will be rooted in infrastructure design and maintenance of the site; he will also manage the editorial staff. Prior to this, he was a member of the founding team for; his contributions in content development are still a vital part of the site today, which has since been re-branded as AOL Black Voices. Gibbs has also held senior digital media positions at and InteractiveOne. In both roles, he contributed digital strategy for the Essence Music Festival.

Ty Johnson was promoted from senior director to vice president of multicultural sales and development at Gospel Music Channel. Hired by GMC in 2007 after working for the channel briefly as an independent contractor, his first position was
as the national accounts manager of branded entertainment and integration. In this role, he provided
ad sales representation
and multicultural insight. Before joining GMC, Johnson was vice president of advertising at Black Family Channel, where he worked alongside film director Robert Townsend to develop advertiser-funded programming. He is also credited with closing several original sponsored-programming deals with advertisers targeting African-American consumers. Johnson holds a bachelor?s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.??

star jonesUptown magazine named entertainment insider and author Star Jones editor-at-large. Jones will contribute a regular column, as well as write political, entertainment and celebrity feature stories. Her first editorial contribution was a first-ever Wedding and Travel special issue. Jones is a former attorney-turned-television-personality, known for her commentary on crime and justice and political and sociological issues in news, entertainment, politics and pop culture. She was a co-host on The View for nine seasons and in 2006, hosted a week of the HGTV program House Hunters. It was reported that her appearance on the program scored the largest household ratings in the cable channel?s history. Jones earned a bachelor?s degree in the administration of justice at American University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Center.?

kim m. keenanThe NAACP selected Kim M. Keenan for the position of general counsel. The youngest attorney and second woman to hold the position in the organization?s history, Keenan served as the sixty-second president of the National Bar Association, making her only the eighth woman in the organization?s 86-year history to serve in its highest elected office. Before joining the NAACP, she was the principal of the Keenan Firm in Washington, D.C., which specialized in medical malpractice litigation
and litigation consulting. Recently honored as a Washington, D.C., Super Lawyer and recognized as a Top Lawyer by Washingtonian magazine, Keenan has also been a commentator on C-SPAN, Court TV and Fox News. She is a graduate of Georgetown University?s School of Foreign Service and the University of Virginia School of Law.?

bryan monroeNews veteran Bryan Monroe joined CNN as editor of In this newly created role, he will oversee editorial planning and content strategy. He will also provide mobile political coverage for the network?s Washington, D.C., bureau. A former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, Monroe held positions at Ebony and Jet magazines as editorial director and at Knight Ridder as assistant vice president of news. At Ebony and Jet, he led the coverage of the 2008 presidential elections. Monroe is a visiting professor at Northwestern University?s Medill School of Journalism and has been a regular contributor to CNN, leading the Biloxi, Miss., team that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He has a bachelor?s degree in communications from the University of Washington.

Laysha Ward
was promoted to the executive committee of Target Corp. Prior to this, she was the corporation?s president of community relations, a role in which she will continue to serve. As president, Ward manages the company?s domestic and international grant making. She also coordinates the company?s civic activities, including the creation of volunteer opportunities for Target?s 350,000 team members. In her 19 years with the company, she has held several leadership positions. Ward is a board member of both the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Executive Leadership Council. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and The Links. She has a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University in Bloomington and an M.A. in social services administration from University of Chicago.