Guest Author - Shelia M. Goss
Datwon Thomas, as Editor in Chief, has spearheaded King magazine into one of the most popular magazines with African-American male readers. He has an impressive background, which includes serving as an intern at Vibe magazine and former music editor for XXL. Besides being the Editor in Chief of King magazine, he wears dual hats as the EIC at Rides Magazine too.
What differentiates King magazine from other male magazines? “If you were to take out all of the women, you would still have a solid magazine. It’s the perfect publication for men on the go. Readers can enjoy well written pieces, beautiful women and incredible fashion,” says Datwon Thomas about King magazine.
King’s diversity is one of the reasons why it’s successful. Thomas explains, “Stories are witty, political when it needs to be…sexy…it’s all done at a top notch level.”
Thomas’ success comes from hard work and determination, but it doesn’t stop him from constantly striving for excellence. “I still feel there’s a lot more we need to accomplish. But it does feel good to accomplish some of those dreams.”
Each year, King magazine honors men in a special issue. These honorees or Coming Kings are distinguished gentlemen in all areas of business and entertainment. Thomas credits, “The staff, Jermaine Hall, our executive editor, was very instrumental in getting the line up.”
“Even though some of the guys have longer track records than others, we felt that these dudes are the ones at the forefront of the game right now,” Thomas says on the decision process.
He goes on to say, “The theme was all white this year. The guys had to come dressed in white. The shoot location was in all white. All of the women were dressed in white.”
Last year was the first year the Coming Kings were all together for one shoot. It was such a success, King magazine has decided to make it an annual event. “The event is like an exclusive boys club. The guys are able to network. It feels good bringing them all together,” Thomas states.
Some of the 2006 Coming Kings are T.I., Ne-Yo, Akon, Lebron James’ manager Maverick Carter, Author Ethan Browne, Reggie Miller from Iced Media among others. Pick up the current issue of King magazine for the complete list and see why they were chosen as this year’s Coming Kings.
Thomas is excited about the future of King. “The future is so bright. We have a talented writing staff. The art director is incredible. Expect more of the quality we’ve been producing for the last five years. Also expect strong hard hitting stories.”
Thomas seems to have a natural knack for marketing. “My staff work hard and I don’t want the magazine to be on the newsstand and me not say anything. Even if I’m tired and don’t feel like doing it, I’m out there promoting it regardless.”
Thomas shares some advice for those who either have a business or thinking about starting a business. “Make sure your product is tight and solid. Make sure you don’t have any cracks in your frame. Try to be smart. Know your target audience. Get with good companies to help promote your product.”
With King being such a success, it’s a wonder he isn’t thinking about starting a women’s version of King, or is he? Only the future knows.
Without a doubt, Datwon Thomas is a man to keep your eye on.
Interview by entertainment writer Shelia M. Goss. She's also the national bestselling author of My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true. Her website is www.sheliagoss.com. For more entertainment news, go to www.e-spire.blogspot.com.