Ebony and Jet Finally Care About The Web

Amid A Crisis, Ebony, Jet Look To Web For Help

Eric Easter may have one of the most challenging jobs in interactive media. As Vice President, Digital & Entertainment for Johnson Publishing Co., he must grow a website that supports two of Black America’s most famous magazines – Ebony and Jet – whose combined circulation is more than two million. At the same time, Easter feels he should use the Internet to reach a new, younger audience that does not read the magazines.

The question is whether he can accomplish both missions, and the stakes could not be higher. By some accounts, Johnson Publishing is in crisis mode, with its print advertising revenue down three consecutive years and getting worse because of the recession and the wholesale shifting of advertising dollars to the Internet. This year alone, Ebony’s advertising revenue has dropped 31.8 percent, according to the Publishers Reference Bureau. And the worst may not be over, as many marketers continue shifting dollars away from black media and focusing on the faster growing Hispanic audience. The situation is so serious that Johnson Publishing has been forced to make a series of staff layoffs totaling some 150 people, according to published reports. [SOURCE]

What suggestions do you have for the relaunch of EbonyJet.com?