Aug 11, 2010

 
 

Rogers has no publishing experience, though she worked for a company 20 years ago that owned newsstands, and said she understands the workings of distribution, wholesaler relationships and positioning magazines to sell.

"I've been a generalist all of my career, focused on taking brands to the next level and integrating all of a company's functional expertise under one roof to move forward," she said.

Johnson Publishing Co. has licenses for sunglasses and greeting cards, but Rogers said she foresees more strategic licensing agreements for such things as books, TV shows, book-a-zines and online stores that sell Ebony and JET archival material.

"There are a number of ways we could go," said Rogers, a New Orleans native and Harvard MBA who became known locally as the Illinois State Lottery director and first female and African-American president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.

Rogers said she intends to expand Ebony and JET magazines' popular features online and create communities around them. One idea: To highlight JET magazine's "Beauty of the Week" online, post a video, host an advertising sponsor, publish a question-and-answer column, ask readers to vote on whether this week's beauty is more exciting than last week's, and hold online contests around the theme.

As for Fashion Fair cosmetics, Rogers said she sees "great potential" for its product lines as they gain marketing support.

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