JET Magazine Goes Digital, No Longer Printing

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  • ‘JET’, the pioneering African-American weekly magazine that rose to prominence covering the civil rights movement will no longer publish a regular print edition.

    The NY Times reports:

    Its owner, Johnson Publishing Company, will move Jet to a largely digital format starting in June, delivered through its website and a paid subscription app. Last year, to cut costs, Jet reduced the weekly publication schedule of the digest-size magazine to every three weeks. Now there will only be an annual “best of Jet” print issue.

    Linda Johnson Rice, chairwoman of Johnson Publishing, which also owns the cosmetics line Fashion Fair, positioned the move as a way to bring Jet into the modern age.

    In moving to digital, Jet joins a number of magazines that have recently reduced or eliminated their print publications after sharp drops in print advertising revenue. Last month, Ladies’ Home Journal announced it would be moving to a quarterly newsstand-only print schedule and otherwise would be digital. New York magazine moved from a weekly to a biweekly print edition last month.

    Desirée Rogers, chief executive of Johnson Publishing, joined the company in 2010 after serving as White House social secretary for the Obama administration. She cited business reasons for repositioning Jet, including reaching younger readers.

    A digital format, she said, made sense since “African-Americans skew higher than the rest of the population in getting their news and information from mobile devices.” Besides, she added, readers are demanding more interactive content and the digital format will allow them to vote, for example, on who should be in the popular weekly feature the Beauty of the Week.

    Jet has the third-largest circulation in the African-American magazine market with 700,000. Johnson Publishing, which is based in Chicago said that title would remain in print.

    Did you grow up with a JET subscription? What was your favorite part of the magazine? Will you still enjoy it in a digital form?

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