Jill Darden is the Publisher of the Fort Worth Black News, a newspaper highlighting activities and accomplishments in the local African-American community. Over the past 22 years, her media company has grown to offer book publishing services to independent authors, television production, and management of periodicals for municipalities and business organizations. Darden served as producer and host of the television show, The Urban Voice, broadcast on Urban American Television Network from January 2004 - July 2005. While producing the show, Darden interviewed many noteworthy African-Americans, including Oprah Winfrey, Earl Graves, Erykah Badu, Johnny Cochran, Smokey Robinson, Judge Greg Mathis, Julian Bond and Dennis Kimbro. Darden’s television background includes creating, producing, and hosting a successful news program, which aired on Charter Cable Channel 31 for five years. During the show’s run she received the First Place Paul R. Ellis Media Award for the television story, Search Your Heart. In addition she has worked as a reporter for Irving Cable Television Network and on the news assignments desk for CBS-KTVT Channel 11. Darden is the co-author of a book of poetry called Back Talk, poetic confessions from the soul. The entrepreneur graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Texas at Arlington.
While in college, she was elected Miss UTA and became the first African-American to hold the title. Darden was honored by her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, with the Trailblazers Award in February 2007 for this historic milestone and pictured in Ebony Magazine among Black College Queens. Darden received the prestigious Quest for Success Award, presented by the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce in 2011. She was recognized as Outstanding Woman of the Year 2013, by the Tarrant County Minority Leaders & Citizens Council for her work in Publishing; and she is the recipient of the Eagle Award for Outstanding Media, presented the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, the publisher was presented with a congratulatory resolution from Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks for 20 years of service to the community. She is scheduled to receive the Bigger and Better Business Award from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity in April 2019.
Since the newspaper’s inception in 1997, Darden has become involved with numerous community groups and service organizations. She has served in the Women’s Division of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce and as President of the UT Arlington Fort Worth Alumni Chapter Board of Directors. In addition she shares marketing advice with small business owners through workshops and seminars. Darden also contracted with the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce to assist with marketing, communication and membership recruitment from 2012 - 2015, during which the organization achieved record-breaking revenue for its annual membership luncheon, featuring Governor Greg Abbot as keynote speaker.
Based in Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Black News has presented scholarships to aspiring local journalists and has an internship program for college students. The company has also launched, Madame Publisher, a media services and marketing division of the business.
Darden is the proud mother of a 12-year-old son, Jiles Clark, who authored his first book, Never Give Up.