Jet Editor-in-Chief Mira Lowe Resigns

By Steve Cohn

On Tuesday (Dec. 14),  Jet editor-in-chief Mira Lowe resigned, telling the Maynard Institute (a multicultural think-tank) that "it’s a great time to pursue some personal and professional goals." 

Decision appears forced, because Johnson Publishing CEO (since July 2010) Desiree Rogers (pictured) is, per Lowe, "putting into place steps in circulation and marketing to reverse the [advertising/circ] slides." But Lowe cited her own achievements on the editorial side as "repositioning the brand. installing new voices and presiding over a new Web site."

In June, Rogers (then a consultant) installed Amy DuBois Barnett (ex-Teen People) as editor-in-chief of the 65-year-old flagship Ebony.

Jet, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2011, is a digest-sized newsweekly perhaps most famous for publishing photographs of the mutilated body of Emmett Till in September 1955 after the 14 year-old was brutally murdered in Mississippi. Ironically, Crain’s Chicago Business reported of "an effort to make Jet more focused on celebrities" because readers will likely see breaking news "online long before the weekly magazine has gone to print."

Chicago-based Ebony and Jet are the oldest African-American-targeted magazines in the country. They are legacies of the late founder John H. Johnson, who prior to his 2005 death had turned the reins over to daughter Linda Johnson Rice. With Rogers’ hire, Rice remains chairman.