Edward Lewis, one of four men who in 1968 conceptualized Essence magazine, sat for a brief question-and-answer session with Janelle Harris of MediaBistro, published Wednesday.
Harris asked Lewis, "Jet magazine has folded its print copy and is going all digital. Do you think this was a good move?"
Lewis replied, "One of my heroes outside my family is John Johnson, who started Ebony and Jet. The media landscape has changed with respect to how people get information. It's very difficult. It's one of the reasons why I made the decision to sell to Time Inc. when they approached me in 2000. I began to realize that what I call the four P's — paper, printing, postage and people — are going to continue to increase in cost. Ebony has gone through some changes with respect to trying to find its editorial feet. In fact, on one level, they're trying to make it look younger than what their audience is. We tried to make the Essence audience look younger and when we did, black women punished us. Our circulation went down and it took us a year to recover. Those are the pressures on Johnson Publishing and Jet."