March 25, 2023

Jet Magazine Stays Compact, but With a New Design

On Friday, the magazine’s owner, Johnson Publishing, announced a complete redesign for Jet in print and online — the first in the 62 years of the publication, long a staple in the black community. The new look for Jet includes brighter colors against a white background, more informational graphics, larger photos and new fonts.

Almost a year and a half ago, its sister publication, Ebony, unveiled an online redesign of its own, which was preceded by a print redesign. Since then, traffic to has increased substantially to more than 600,000 visitors in July from less than 100,000 visitors a year ago, said Desiree Rogers, the chief executive of Johnson Publishing, who is hoping for a similar bounce at Jet.

“People really did feel that it was time for a little bit of a makeover here,” said Desirée Rogers, the chief executive of Johnson Publishing. “These brands have been around for almost 70 years. You’ve got to change with the times.”

As part of the redesign, the Web sites and will each link to the other’s Web site.

The Ebony redesign may also have helped the magazine’s advertising. The number of ad pages increased 4.2 percent from the second quarter in 2012 to the second quarter in 2013. Revenue from advertising also increased to $13.6 million in the second quarter of 2013 from $11.7 million in that quarter a year ago.

Ad revenue for Jet magazine increased a slight 2 percent in the second quarter in 2013, to $2.7 million, up from $2.62 million a year earlier, while the number of ad pages dipped 7.8 percent in the same time period.

While the redesigned Jet will keep some of its franchises — including its “Beauty of the Week” feature — it will also include condensed sections that focus on celebrity, news, entertainment and lifestyle.

The changes will also be felt in the editorial content, with Jet writers doing more original reporting and less aggregation, said Mitzi Miller, the magazine’s editor in chief. “Magazines in general are trying to figure out how we stay relevant,” Ms. Miller said. “We have a clearly defined voice again so when people come here they say ‘O.K. this is a Jet position.’ ”

The Aug. 12 issue — which reflects the new design — has on the cover Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan, the stars of the film “Fruitvale Station,” which is based on a 2009 incident when a black man was shot and killed by a police officer in an Oakland subway station. The film has gotten particular attention because its release coincided with the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Ms. Miller said the magazine would also offer more service journalism for its readers. “It’s also about how can you get Beyoncé’s look for less,” she said. “When you have her clothes, here are the top five detergents you need to get the stain out of that blouse.”

It will also offer short videos for users’ mobile phones. In the August issue, Ms. Miller added such a video to her editor’s letter.

One thing that won’t change, however, is the magazine’s unusual size — 5⅛ inches by 7⅜ inches. Ms. Rogers said the magazine enlisted the opinions of focus groups around the country for ideas on the makeover. “The one thing we kept hearing was, ‘Don’t change my size,’ ” she said.

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DealBook: Lowe’s Pulls $1.8 Billion Bid for Rona

A Rona hardware store in Ottawa.Chris Wattie/ReutersA Rona hardware store in Ottawa.

Lowe’s said on Monday that it had withdrawn its $1.8 billion takeover bid for a Canadian counterpart, Rona, citing the home-improvement chain’s unwillingness to hold merger talks.

Shortly after it was unveiled in July, Lowe’s offer of 14.50 Canadian dollars a share was rejected by Rona, prompting the American retailer to go hostile.

Lowe’s had been seeking to expand in Canada, whose relatively healthy housing market and economy have drawn growth-hungry companies. It entered the country in 2007, and has about 31 big-box stores. Buying Rona would give it an additional 1,500 shops, including 840 run under the company’s own name and several franchises and affiliated outlets.

But the bid was met by strong opposition, including comments by the finance minister of Quebec, where Rona is based, describing a potential merger as not appearing “to be in the interest of Quebec or Canada.”

“Lowe’s has repeatedly attempted to engage the board of directors of Rona with respect to its proposal in order to conduct confirmatory due diligence and move forward with a friendly, negotiated transaction,” Lowe’s said in a statement.

Lowe’s added that it was committed to the Canadian market.

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Medtronic’s Earnings and Revenue Beat Estimates

For more than a year, Medtronic has reported weaker sales of its two leading franchises — heart defibrillators and spinal implants, which account for about 40 percent of total sales. Tighter hospital budgets, reduced procedures and safety concerns have led doctors to implant fewer devices. Those trends continued in the most recent period, with combined sales of the devices falling 5 percent.

But overall revenue rose 3 percent in the second fiscal quarter, which ended Oct. 28, to $4.13 billion, helped by sales of heart valves, stents and other upgraded products, the company reported.

For the quarter, the company posted net income of $871 million, or 82 cents a share, up 54 percent from $566 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. Results in the year-ago period were weighed down by a legal settlement related to defective heart defibrillators.

Excluding one-time expenses, the company would have earned $898 million, or 84 cents a share, in the most recent period. Those results topped analysts’ expectations for earnings of 82 cents a share on revenue of $4.07 billion.

Analysts had speculated Medtronic might scale back its full-year revenue guidance, but the company said it still expected earnings of $3.43 to $3.50 a share for fiscal 2012.

Medtronic shares rose $1.48, or 4.45 percent, to close at $34.75 Tuesday.

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