Cheryl Mayberry

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After more than 60 years, goes digital only

Industry must innovate, change along with new needs of readers

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


JET magazine this summer will abandon its traditional weekly print format and go all digital. According to Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) statistics, JET’s 2013 single-copy sales were 19 percent higher than in 2011. But while subscriptions “drive the largest share of the magazine’s circulation” among readers, whose average age is 44 years old (35 percent are Baby Boomers, persons born 1946-1964), the digital version will “appeal to the diverse interests and needs of information-hungry African American consumers.”

“We are embracing the future,” announced JPC Chairman Linda Johnson Rice in a released statement in May about the magazine her father, the late John Johnson, founded in 1951 for Blacks to get weekly news in a smaller format than its sister publication Ebony, which comes out monthly. Over the years, the magazine has changed from black and white to color, in format size, and from a weekly publishing schedule to every three weeks. “The cost and the expense to try to publish a weekly, and paper and postage, is just not cost efficient in 2014,” explained Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, JPC chief operating officer and digital president, in a recent MSR phone interview. Continue Reading →

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