By Rhonda Campbell
Since its start in September 1988, Jamie Foster Brown’s Sister 2 Sister magazine has led the way in regards to African American entertainment reporting, particularly in the music field. Earlier in her media career, Brown worked as an advertising secretary at the nation’s first successfully owned and operated African American television station, Black Entertainment Television (BET). To continue to attract a young adult audience, Brown makes a portion of Sister 2 Sister magazine stories available online. It’s a smart move, one that proves Jamie Foster Brown is serious about winning in the media market, knows what it takes to stay relevant in her target audience’s eyes.
Sister 2 Sister Magazine’s Unique Soulful Entertainment Appeal
Like other print media entrepreneurs, Brown’s going to need her wits. Ads listed in print media (i.e. magazines, newspapers) have been declining since the late 1990s. In the Atlantic’s February 28, 2012 “The Collapse of Print Advertising in 1 Graph” article, it’s reported that, “Print newspaper ads have fallen by two-thirds from $60 billion in the late-1990s to $20 billion in 2011.”
That’s a huge drop off. To compensate, magazines started printing more ads in each of their issues, some magazines looking more like a business catalog than an actual magazine. Fortunately, Sister2Sister magazine hasn’t veered down this path, hopefully never will. It’s Brown’s connections with African American entertainers that give magazines looking more like a business catalog than an actual magazine, that gives Sister2Sister magazine juice.
Akin to its predecessors, magazines like Right On! and Black Beat, Sister 2 Sister mainly interviews popular recording artists across rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, rap and pop genres. Jamie Foster Brown, owner of Sister 2 Sister, adds a unique flavor to her magazine which is available at grocery stores, retail outlets like WalMart and bookstores around the country. In tone and style, it’s almost as if stories featured in the magazine are a recap of a private discussion Jamie Foster Brown shared over a scrumptious meal with a long time friend who happens to be a high achiever in the entertainment industry.
In one feature issue, Jamie Foster Brown went into chart topping rap artist T.I. and his wife Tiny’s house in Atlanta, Georgia. The interview and the photos were taken prior to T.I.’s start on his one year and one day prison sentence. A recent June 2012 feature interview reads like a conversation between Brown and special celebrity guest, Kiki Tyson, wife of former heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson. The couple are currently writing (Kiki) and starring (Mike) in the live Vegas standup show Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth – Live on Stage.
Accolades for Sister 2 Sister Magazine and Jamie Foster Brown
On August 18, 1988 Jamie Foster Brown was named in the Congressional Record as a leading woman in entertainment journalism. Other accolades Brown has received include complimentary mentions in People, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly.
With the bulk of Sister 2 Sister’s subscriber and off-the-shelf reader base being under 30 years of age, the magazine’s columns such as Who Does She Think She Is teach young adults the value of setting clear goals, gaining an education and taking the necessary risks to achieve one’s dreams. Recently, the magazine added a section that focuses on books and literature, a welcomed addition that rounds out Sister 2 Sister’s monthly offerings, would that there was a bit more focus on books and literature in the magazine.
Artists and political leaders who have been featured in Sister2Sister magazine include, President and First Lady Barak and Michelle Obama, Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston, Rapper T. I., Tiny and Nas. Other featured athletes and artists include Keisha Cole, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Johnny Gill, Flava Flav, tennis champion Serena Williams and Megan Good. Whether Sister2Sister magazine continues to thrive in print or moves toward a more robust digital platform, it’s a good thing that the entertainment magazine continues to chronicle the dreams, challenges and triumphs of successful African Americans, particularly African American singers and performers.
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Get Your Copy of Spiral at https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000000841/Spiral.html
www.S2smagazine.com (Sister2Sister Magazine)
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/the-collapse-of-print-advertising-in-1-graph/253736/ (The Atlantic: The Collapse of Print Advertising in 1 Graph)