NEW YORK (AP) — Jet magazine, which first hit newsstands at the dawn of the civil rights era, is ceasing regular print publication and transforming into a digital app.
Johnson Publishing Co., which owns Jet along with Ebony magazine, says the switch will occur at the end of June. The Chicago-based company says the move is a proactive effort to adapt to its readers' growing desires for quicker and easier access to information.
Desiree Rogers, Johnson Publishing's CEO says the change will take the magazine back to its roots. She notes that Jet, which was founded by John Johnson in November 1951, was originally intended as a newsweekly digest for African-Americans living in an increasingly faster-paced world.
At that time, the magazine cost 15 cents and was small enough to be carried in a purse or a pocket, perfect for on-the-go information, just like today's smartphones and tablets.
"I think if Johnson were here today, I think he would say 'what took you so long?'" Rogers says.
The app will launch on June 30 and cost $20 a year. It will contain shorter, more mobile-friendly, articles and return to a weekly publishing format, with breaking news updates on a daily basis. The print magazine currently publishes every three weeks.
The format change comes amid an advertising revenue decline at Jet and in the magazine industry overall.
According to Publishers Information Bureau data, Jet's total print advertising revenue has fallen in each of the last three years, dropping 24 percent to $10.3 million last year from $13.6 million in 2010.