Vibe magazine is heading back to screens, then stands
Vibe magazine, which folded at the end of June, is being resuscitated by a group of investors, according to an Aug. 12 report by the Wall Street Journal. Although details of the deal are sketchy, AdAge reports that former Vibe Group publisher Leonard Burnett Jr. seems to be in the mix.
News of Vibe's closure, announced suddenly in June, was met with surprise, sighs and regret. Surprise because, with more than 16 years of publishing behind it, Vibe seemed a pretty solid bet. Sighs because a 40% dropoff in ad revenue this year -- industry-wide drops averaged a "mere" 28% -- showed it could teeter pretty quickly. And regret because Vibe gave special attention to African American artists, one of the earliest major music magazines to do so.
"As former Editorial intern at Vibe/Vibe Vixen Magazine," Deja Gilmore wrote in Jacket Copy's comments, "I truly am saddened by the sudden downfall of the magazine. Vibe Magazine has been such a staple in music culture that its hard to see it go. Danyel Smith is an amazing EIC and I know that the staff there, which are of a very diverse variety, worked hard on every issue."
The new owners have confirmed that Vibe.com will return in the next few weeks; Tuesday night, the site displayed a purple-and-gold banner declaring, "Vibe Under New Management: Updates Coming Soon." Plans are to bring a print Vibe back around the end of the year, and then produce it quarterly in 2010.
-- Carolyn Kellogg