After 26 years of being in business, Sister 2 Sister magazine will stop publishing and has filed for bankruptcy protection.
In a story first broken by Richard Prince’s Journal-isms column, Sister 2 Sister publisher Jamie Foster Brown confirmed that the monthly magazine would halt printing to focus on its website. The move has shocked many in the media business, as Brown publicly resisted online journalism in the past and often criticized those who had success on the internet.
“The community does not want us to go away,” the 68-year-old magazine publisher told Journal-isms.
Brown said she especially felt a responsibility to prisoners who “didn’t have a voice” and whom she published in the magazine. “We wanted to teach people through celebrities,” she continued. “God comes through other people.”
A former secretary for BET co-founder Robert Johnson, Brown said she learned from the TV mogul how to build an audience with entertainment personalities. “I saw how much power the celebrities have,” she explained.
Circulation for Sister 2 Sister was last estimated at 135,000 and the magazine’s October 2014 issue only had 64 pages.
Journal-isms also reported that a freelance writer named Manny Otiko took to social media to vent about not being paid by Sister 2 Sister because of their financial restructuring. His Twitter message from Monday is below:
Despite being criticized for its signature Q&A’s that included things like every ‘uh,’ ‘er,’ or ‘you know?’ in the interview from both Brown and the celebrities, Sister 2 Sister’s website describes the Chicago-bred magazine mogul as “The Barbara Walters of Print.”
Sister 2 Sister launched originally as a newsletter for women in entertainment by Brown in 1988. The entertainment magazine focused on Black Hollywood and urban music gossip and feature interviews. In recent years, Sister 2 Sister had become the go-to publication for Black reality stars who were regularly featured on the cover.
UPDATED: In an additional statement sent to AlwaysAList.com, Brown said Sister 2 Sister’s hiatus is not a permanent one.
“For our readers who still love the print-edition of Sister 2 Sister, the magazine is not going away. We are putting it on hiatus while we reorganize to embrace the digital age for our subscribers and advertisers. We remain as dedicated to our mission today as we were 26 years ago,” she said.