All Articles Tagged "Jet"
Three months ago 28-year-old songstress Fantasia Barrino reemerged on the entertainment scene with a bang and not the kind of bang she probably hoped for. Instead of making headlines for her music, people were buzzing about her very public beef with JET Magazine, which jumped off after she called the publication out for using a photo of her that was at least 10 years old. The magazine stood by their decision to publish the photo, explaining that they didn’t find the photos Fantasia sent them appropriate. But things got even uglier when JET’s Editor-in-chief, Mitzi Miller made a not-so-nice comment about Barrino via her Facebook page, which she later apologized for. During a recent interview with Hello Beautiful, the singer finally addressed the controversy head-on and even revealed that she’s accepted Miller’s apology. Check out some of what she had to say below.
On why she lashed out at the magazine:
“The JET Magazine situation, it wasn’t that I was trying to attack them, it was that [I'm] moving forward. Coming from all of the things we were coming from, with a new look, a new mindset, we want you to use the new pictures that we took. We sent you the pictures, use the pictures. Don’t use a 10-year-old picture. Because when you do that, it makes me feel that you are trying to keep me in my past and that’s what was happening with Fantasia.”
On the JET situation being an example of people not wanting her to change:
“A lot of time people just want to keep that same story going. You know, ‘She’s moving forward, but….’ or ‘She’s looking good, but…’ So for me, it was just saying, ‘That’s not the picture. That’s 10 years old. Because as soon as the picture came out, once again, the person that’s going to take the hits is me, not JET.”
On JET’s EIC’s insulting comment and apology:
“I accepted her apology, I do. Out of that situation came a blessing for me. Let’s just say that. I am able now to be a blessing to the people who struggle with that situation, so I thank her for that.”
On choosing not to dwell on drama:
“I don’t want to dwell in the past anymore, because drama will happen everyday, all day in my life. I’m a mother. I come from a big family. I’m a businesswoman. I’m in the industry. There’s always going to be something, but the way I deal with it now is going to be different. I won’t let it break me down anymore or make me hide or shell up into a box.”
On why she thinks she goes through so much:
“Being a soul singer, I feel that if I don’t go through, I probably wouldn’t sing as passionately as I sing.”
Check out footage from Fantasia’s interview on the next page. Thoughts?
Desiree Rogers, CEO Of Johnson Publishing, Honors Her Company’s History While Ushering It Into The Future
Sitting on the stage in a shock of neon green, Desiree Rogers spent her time on the “Power of Networking Panel” during Friday’s National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) 2013 National Networking Conference talking about the topic at hand (social media) as well as the company she leads (Johnson Publishing Co). Home to iconic African-American brands Ebony, Jet, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the company is just as much a part of the present and future as it is the past.
“We’re repositioning as a company that informs through the African-American experience,” Rogers said at one point.
For many people, these brands are closely associated with mothers and grandmothers, who never let their subscriptions lapse or their lipstick tube go empty. But, in a sit-down interview with MadameNoire after the panel discussion, Johnson made it clear that these are not dusty brands that should be put out to pasture. Instead, they’re evolving labels that are casting a wider net. While staying true to the audience that never forgets its African-American roots, these brands welcome everyone across the board; a bigger audiences that “wants to learn about different cultures,” Rogers added.
“We know we’re the curator of the African-American experience,” she told us. “We wouldn’t walk away from creating an authentic experience for the community. They talk to us, we listen.”
Still, a company like Fashion Fair, which started in order to accommodate models color who couldn’t find makeup shades for them, has always been about individuality and inclusion.
“We want women to be able to come to our counters and walk away with the right color. Every woman has undertones; it’s more complicated for women of color. We’re experienced with true color on every pigment,” Rogers said. And, making a little news, Rogers told us that Fashion Fair Cosmetics will have its first in-store specialty shop at Macy’s coming soon. We’ll definitely be there for that.
In addition to talk about business, we, of course, had to ask Rogers about her career. Prior to becoming CEO at Johnson Publishing, she was the White House Social Secretary during President Obama’s first term. (We had to get a little fan girl about this… Obama!!)
According to her bio in the NAPW press kit, Rogers “produced 350 events in 14 months, turning the White House into a showcase for American art and culture” while showcasing “Obama’s nontraditional vision of the White House as the ‘People’s House.’”
When asked how she made her way to the top of business — and to the White House — she echoed Russell Simmons a bit.
“The difference these days is people are doing things they’re really passionate about. You can’t fake it,” she told us.
She also gave us a three tips for transitioning from one job to the other:
-”Take your time. Don’t just jump from one job to the other. What do you want out of that next jump?”
-”Be flexible on the salary. You want a job that trains you for where you’re going.”
-”A lot of people say they want to be X without really know what that is. Sometimes you find out and you back off.”
During the panel, Rogers talked about balancing being a business leader, a mom, and having it all. The key is focusing on your personal “all,” not what you think others or society dictates that you should aspire to. And don’t be afraid to take short cuts. When her 22-year-old daughter was small, she used to lament the fact that the cookies she brought to class weren’t baked at home. “I’d say, ‘Look at all the cookies I bought!’” Rogers said to the audience. “You’ve got so many flavors.”
That room full of women executives laughed, clapped, and nodded in agreement.
ICYMI: Check out our Twitter feed for coverage from the NAPW conference.
While she might look more like a single 25-year-old, Nia Long is actually 42, a mother of two, and at times what seems like a single mother, she told JET magazine recently. The nearly 30-year industry veteran is the cover beauty for their April 8 issue and, unsurprisingly, the topic of how she handles her semi-long distance relationship with former pro-basketball player Ime Udoka came up in the interview. Asked specifically how they have been able to make it work for three years, particularly with him now living in a different state, Nia said:
Ime and I are very much a family. We’re both committed to being good to each other and being great parents. He operates on faith, and we share that. If not, it would be difficult to maintain with him working as a coach in San Antonio. The challenge is the times when I’m exhausted and here with the kids by myself. I have homework, bath time, dinner, laundry and all the other things that every mother has to do because, in essence, I’m physically a part-time single mom.
She should qualify that as “part-time single working mom” now that she’s gearing up to begin filming of The Best Man sequel. JET also asked Nia to spill the beans on the film everyone is waiting for, and also her longevity in the industry. Here’s a bit from their exchange:
JET: Everyone’s buzzing about you reprising the role of Jordan in The Best Man Holiday (out November 15). The original was definitely a classic film— but it’s been almost 15 years. Why do a sequel now?
We made magic together— so many people say that to me. And because I love the cast. The film’s director, Malcolm Lee, has been talking about it for some time and finally announced his plan during a recent cast reunion dinner.
JET: Any details you can dish on the movie?
Well, we’re not shooting until late April in Toronto so I can’t say much, but everybody is really excited to revisit our stories and find out what happens next. Where is Jordan now? Did she get married? Did she break up a relationship? It’s like reading a great book; you want to see what the next chapter is.
JET: You’ve been part of several iconic flicks, like Boyz n the Hood and Love Jones, but we hear that acting wasn’t always your dream career?
I wanted to be a pediatrician. One of the most life-changing challenges I experienced growing up was realizing that there simply wasn’t enough money for me to go to college. So I decided to focus on working. I promised that I’d give myself one year from the day I graduated from high school to make moves in the business. I was acting since I was 15, and I really wanted to help my mom, who was struggling.
JET: But your current career path isn’t necessarily the most stable…
That’s very true. Actors only have job security from the time we’re on set until they say cut. But, deep down inside I knew it would work out for me. Luckily, I was also naive. What’s the saying? Ignorance is bliss. I had a wonderful acting coach who didn’t focus on fail-ure, only working.
Kudos to Nia for still having such a positive attitude after all these years in the business. Her issue of JET hits newsstands March 18. Will you pick it up?
Black love is in the air! And if you couldn’t get enough of Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union on the cover of Essence, now you can check out Tamar Braxton and her man Vince Herbert on the cover of Jet, commenting on their much talked about relationship together.
When asked about how the relationship of the reality star Braxton sister and wife and baller manager of both Toni Braxton and Lady Gaga work, Herbert pushes the fact that aside from just being a married couple, the two are great friends, which puts their relationship on another level:
“We have fun, which is what a relationship is all about. Tamar is the greatest. Like, we’d just drive to Disneyland, then go to the movies and fall asleep. Because we are friends and you can’t stress that enough in a relationship. We have our arguments and disagreements, but that’s life.”
And when asked about her attitude, Tamar made it clear that how she talks to her girlfriends, or her sisters for that matter, is not how she comes at her husband, so the attitude stays on-camera. However, when it comes to hitting the studio to record her upcoming album, which she is making through the Interscope and her husband’s label, if she doesn’t stick to her schedule, then the “Sasha Fierce” in her will bring that famed attitude out!
“I have to do this,” she says. “I wake up in the morning and want to go to the studio, because if I don’t go, ‘her’ is going to be upset,” she says, referencing her unnamed alter ego in the third person. “I don’t want to put it in a category because when you do that you limit yourself,” she says. “It’s just going to be hot music. Great songs that appeal to everybody.”
Lastly, and most importantly for those wondering, when it comes to money and if that is the center of their relationship and reason they’re together, both vehemently deny accusations that he’s buying her love and that she’s a gold digger who won’t mess with a broke…you know:
“I love my wife. This girl is so far from being a gold digger. I wouldn’t be with someone like that for nine years,” he says. And Tamar is quick to tag in: “When I met Vince I had my own house. I had my own car. I was independent.”
Get it right! If you want to hear more, including more on her music career, their love and thoughts on the reality TV curse for star marriages, keep an eye out for the new issue of Jet.
Do you think they’re an awesome power couple?
on Madame Noire!
Obama’s No Angry Black Woman and Neither Am I
Shyte Natural Hair Girls Need to Stop Saying and Doing…
Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Jumping the Broom
9 Artists Who Should Have Blown Up Big…But Didn’t
Our Favorite Word?… Girl
Ask a Very Smart Brotha: Trying Not to Hate Him & Saving It
While many saw Desiree Rogers’ short stint at the White House as a blemish on her career in light of the party-crashing incident, Rogers saw her leave as an opportunity to do something she really wanted to do. Since then, the former social secretary has become CEO of Johnson Publishing, working to rebuild two iconic black brands, Ebony and Jet.
In a recent interview with Businessweek, Rogers discussed the new strategy behind the publications: I wanted to make Ebony prettier and more relevant. With Jet, people would say, ‘What are you going to do to my Jet?’ We’re being very careful not to fall into a vacuum where we assume all black people want to read the same thing. That said, there are broad issues that impact the community. My daughter is 21, and she doesn’t see the world in white and black. But she wants to read about our history. She helped me think about things in a different way.”
Rogers is off to a strong start. I haven’t seen so much buzz surround Ebony in years. The redesign of the mag has caught the attention of a younger generation who had written the publication off, and new website is expected in January. Rogers also seems secure in her choice to enter the publishing world.
“Washington is like playing the Super Bowl, only there are no timeouts, no potty breaks, and the arena is filled with the media. In government, you have to learn to put yourself second in a big way. But I am a business person at heart. I like to be in charge.”
How do you think Desiree Rogers is doing so far with revitalizing Ebony and Jet?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Ebony and Jet have been major mouthpieces for the African-American community for over 60 years. As an integral part of the black landscape, the magazines have often been seen peppered among barber shops, churches and other central institutions since the ’40s. But when John H. Johnson and his wife Eunice founded Johnson Publishing in 1945, they wanted to create “a movement” through their magazines according to Desiree Rogers, it’s current CEO. The former White House social secretary — who took the helm of Johnson Publishing in 2010 — was brought on to take that movement into the 21st century. She is already creating a new wave of success.
In the first half of this year, Ebony has seen an increase in readership of 11%, while Jet’s reach has expanded by 8%. This stellar growth is due to efforts made by Johnson Publishing management to address circulation by hiring outside consultants to increase subscriptions, and revamping the editorial staff. Both moves aim to help the brands appeal to a much younger demographic with greater spending power. But to make these expansions, the black-owned stalwart chose to accept a minority investment from JP Morgan Chase to fund these opportunities. NPR.org has more on this critical business decision:
This summer, Johnson Publishing took a crucial step—selling an equity stake to banker JP Morgan Chase. Speaking on NPR’s Tell Me More, Johnson Publishing chairwoman Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of the company’s founders, said that it was not a decision taken lightly.
“I really wanted this business to grow, and I really stopped and I thought, if we really want to expand and we want to expand Ebony and Jet and Fashion Fair Cosmetics as brands, right now we just can’t do this alone,” Rice said. “It’s too challenging of an environment.”
Rice added that the investment allows the company, which remains black-owned, to accelerate its plans. For more than a year, Johnson Publishing has been setting up a new management and editorial team, recently hiring a new editor-in-chief for Jet magazine and a new director for Ebony‘s digital operations. Additionally, there’s a new president of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, and celebrity make-up artist Sam Fine will lead efforts to create new products. Next year the company even plans to consider reviving some form of the Ebony Fashion Fair style show.
Ebony and Jet have seen a remarkable increase in their circulation over the first six months of 2011. Ebony’s readership has increased 10.9% to 1,235,865, while Jet magazine saw a 7.6% rate of growth to 820,557. This improvement comes after Johnson Publishing had decreased its promised circulation numbers to advertisers for Jet and missed previous quotas for reader guarantees for about two years for both tomes. Leaders in the advertising and publishing industry see this growth as a big win for Johnson Publishing and its CEO Desiree Rogers, who took the helm of the company about a year ago. Rogers is challenged to grow the magazine business at a time when the industry in general faces declines in advertising, subscriptions and newsstand sales. These 8-11% increases in circulation mark a stunning coup.
How did she do it? For Ebony magazine, Rogers employed a creative combination of input from outside circulation experts and a regenerating redesign. Ad Age reports on Rogers’ ability to grow the iconic Johnson Publishing title despite the harsh magazine business environment:
[Johnson Publishing ] places most of the blame on its prior circulation management, which it says it has improved by outsourcing it to circulation veterans last October. Their diagnosis found insufficient direct-mail campaigns and prices that were occasionally more aggressive than other magazines.
“If you’re not constantly reaching out and asking people to come back on, they fall off,” said Rodrigo Sierra, senior VP-chief marketing officer at Johnson Publishing, which owns Ebony and Jet.
Last August Johnson Publishing named Desiree Rogers, the former White House social secretary, to take over as CEO, just one of several personnel changes that might play a role in Ebony’s effort to rebound.
Ebony’s latest step is the redesign from Amy DuBois Barnett, who was named editor in chief last June, and Darhil Crooks, who joined in January as creative director from Esquire, where he had been art director.
Ebony revamped every aspect of the magazine from the logo to the layout. In addition an effort was made to shift the editorial focus of the book to reflect the desires of the modern African-American audience for self-improvement and inspiration. Jet also benefited from the outsourcing of circulation management, and saw its numbers increase.
By comparison, other black magazines like XXL and Essence have seen readership declines of 22% and 2% respectively, according to Richard Prince’s Journal-isms™.
From purely casual observation, it is clear that Ebony and Jet are both featuring younger stars, and are more on the pulse of trends in African-American lifestyle and entertainment. This month’s cover features hot actress Zoe Saldana, for instance — a celebrity who is not strictly African-American — who discusses the implication of her more complicated black identity for her cover story. It’s hard to imagine the Ebony magazine of two years ago placing someone who is neither strictly “black,” nor an old-guard African-American luminary on the cover.
Clearly these risks — using hot stars and stirring a little controversy — are working out for Ebony magazine. The numbers prove it. Jet is making similar moves to remain relevant to an Internet-trained audience that craves conflict to fuel Facebook discussions, mixed with a sense of immediacy. If Johnson Publishing can continue to take editorial risks and modernize its approach to information delivery, their well-known black brands will flourish for another half-century.
This kind of longevity is sorely needed in a world where most black media is owned and controlled by mainstream companies without a direct interest in serving black audiences as part of a heart-felt service to our community.
(Black Enterprise) — After nearly 70 years as a family-owned independent publishing firm, Johnson Publishing Co. Inc. (No. 30 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE list with $120 million in sales) announced that it sold an equity stake in the company to JPMorgan Chase’s Special Investments Group (SIG). And while the undisclosed, but certainly multi-million dollar, infusion provides the company with much-needed capital to refocus the brand, it also marks the first time the family business has taken outside investment. In an exclusive interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Chairman Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of founderJohn H. and Eunice Walker Johnson, says there was no trepidation about selling a portion of the company’s equity and giving another firm a voice in the business. “We have the management control and the operational control of the business,” asserts Rice. “I believe that not only are they [JPMorgan Chase] savvy investors but I think they will be strategic partners for us.” She also stated adamantly that there are no plans to sell a controlling interest in the company.
By Alexis Garrett Stodghill
JP Morgan Chase has made a minority investment in Johnson Publishing Co., one of the last black-owned media companies in America. The publisher of the iconic magazines Ebony and Jet has decided to accept outside capital for the first time in its history to meet aggressive expansion goals. Declines in circulation, coupled with the necessity of building the company’s online presence, have made growth through a large infusion of dollars critical for the firm’s future. The Chicago Sun Times reports:
Johnson Publishing Co., publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, said JPMorgan Chase’s Special Investments Group will become an investor in the company, the first outside investor at the family-owned business. The investment “positions Johnson Publishing for continued growth,” by “providing financial resources to take our iconic Ebony and Jet magazines to the next level and accelerate our growth strategy for Fashion Fair Cosmetics,” Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of the company and daughter of its founder, said in a statement.
The Johnson Publishing Co. has an impressive 69 year history. Started in 1942 by the late founder John H. Johnson and his wife, Eunice, it remains the largest black-owned publishing house in the world. With a robust books division, the well-loved Ebony Fashion Fair showcase (that raises money for charities), and its international cosmetics brand, it makes sense that JP Morgan Chase would find this stable company worthy of receiving more capital. It is also confusing that such a well-positioned entity has not received mainstream funding sooner.
When Cathy Hughes bought her first radio station, she used everything she owned as collateral for a $1 million loan needed to make the purchase. This mogul managed her primary investment well, and grew her company to include dozens of radio stations, creating the Radio One empire. Now her corporate interests include the cable station TV One, her Internet play Interactive one, and other related media brands. To expand to this level, Hughes needed more money than she could possible have raised through any means except corporate financing. And that is she the route she went. Today, Cathy Hughes is the chairperson of her holding company, which is publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
It’s pretty amazing that one woman created a powerful media company with a market capitalization of almost $100 million in just a couple of decades, while Johnson Publishing Co. is just dipping its toe in the pool of outside investment after almost 80 years. This shows the importance of integrating with the larger business community. More important black companies need to take advantage of these capital markets — while retaining ultimate control. Hughes and her son, Alfred C. Liggins, III, still lead Radio One as the primary officers, ultimately making key decisions that affect how their media brands portray black America.
It’s wonderful that Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing and daughter of the founders, retains similar control. If Johnson CEO Desiree Rogers is able to use the monies provided by JP Morgan Chase well, there might still be time for this aging black conglomerate to grow its brand reach and appeal. Johnson Publishing Co. might be late to the corporate finance market, but it is still possible for the company to catch up.
The recession devastated many businesses – most notably, magazines. With advertising budgets having plummeted, magazines that were most affected by declining add dollars had to cease publication including Vibe magazine (which was later resurrected as a quarterly publication), Domino, and Men’s Vogue among many others. But some have managed to stay afloat, including some Black mags that have managed to stick around for the long haul – magazines we can’t even remember living without. Here is a look at the Black glossies which have informed, inspired and survived through the decades.
Right On! and Black Beat
These magazines targeting the Black teen market have held on for decades – four decades that is. Right On! debuted in 1971, with the Jackson 5 on their first cover. It was the first magazine to cater to Black teens and was the African-American version of mags like Tiger Beat and Bop. It can rightfully claim to be one of the longest running urban magazines in the country. The two publications are currently owned by Dorchester Media, LLC, but the history of the founder(s) remains a mystery as Dorchester Media is keeping quiet on the exact origins of the pubs.