Circulation Surges for Ebony and Jet

The scales are finally starting to tip the other way for Desiree Rogers and Johnson Publishing. After a bumpy transition and some crafty maneuvering, though, it's now being reported that Ebony and Jet are seeing a rise in their circulations -- this news comes after the announcement that both publications' circulation has been outsourced to New York firm Shain & Oringer.

"Ebony magazine missed its guarantee to advertisers again, a pattern that began back in the second half of 2009," writes Nat Ives in Ad Age. "But benefited from the first cover-to-cover redesign since its introduction in 1945 and the work of circulation consultants brought in to turn things around. Those consultants had diagnosed the title with insufficient direct-mail campaigns and prices that were sometimes more aggressive than other magazines."

Then again, according to the Maynard Institute, an organization specializing in diversity in the media, Rogers had tweaked the circulation rate guaranteed to advisers somewhat -- in Jet's case, the guarantee was downgraded from 900,000 to 800,000. But on the whole, things are still looking up for Johnson Publishing: For the first six months of 2011, Ebony's circulation averaged 1,235,865 (a 10.9 percent increase), and Jet's swelled to 820,557 (a 7.6 percent increase).

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