The days of flipping through the pages of Jet have sadly ended. On Wednesday, the magazine announced its shift to digital only.
At the end of June, Johnson Publishing Company will move the glossy to a digital magazine app and will continue to thrive on the publication's website. The weekly print publication will not exist, but an annual “best of Jet” issue will hit newsstands once a year.
Jet’s paid subscription app will utilize multimedia, telling stories through video interviews, photography, daily breaking news and “enhanced digital maps, 3D charts,” according to a press release. Linda Johnson, chairwoman of Johnson Publishing, says the publication started by her father is embracing the future.
“Almost 63 years ago, my father, John Johnson, named the publication Jet because, as he said in the first issue, ‘In the world today, everything is moving faster. There is more news and far less time to read it.' He could not have spoken truer words. We are not saying goodbye to Jet, we are embracing the future as my father did in 1951.”
Jet has the third largest circulation in the African-American magazine market with 700,000 subscribers, putting it behind Ebony and Essence.
Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing, says the shift to digital was a business move. She noted that the transition made since due to the fact that "African-Americans skew higher than the rest of the population in getting their news and information from mobile devices."
"The JET magazine online presence is continuing to grow, and JPC feels strongly we can provide great and timely content to our readers with the first weekly digital magazine app in the African-American space," Rogers added.
Jet was founded in 1951 by John Johnson, just five years after Ebony magazine was established. It became the more news-centric alternative to Ebony, which was known for its more inspirational tone. The weekly is forever remembered for its 1955 coverage on murdered teen Emmett Till.
The future children of millennials won’t know what it’s like to see Jet magazine on the coffee table, as we had the privilege of doing growing up. Sad day, indeed.
(Photos from left: Jet Magazine/September 1954, Jet Magazine/June 2014)