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Vibe magazine closing

June 30, 2009 | 12:03 pm

Vibe magazine will cease publication, according to a report on the AOL-owned site Daily Finance.

Founded in 1993 by Quincy Jones and Time Warner, Vibe has been a general interest music magazine that covered politics and current events as well as hip-hop and soul. Called by some -- well, Wikipedia -- "the black Rolling Stone," Vibe was bought by the Wicks Group in 2006. Its circulation, reported to advertisers at 818,000 earlier late last year, had fallen to 600,000, the New York Times reports.

Although the magazine had already implemented cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and a four-day work week, staff today were told that its run was over. Editor Danyel Smith sent this sad note to Gawker:

On behalf the VIBE CONTENT staff (the best in this business), it is with great sadness, and with heads held high, that we leave the building today. We were assigning and editing a Michael Jackson tribute issue when we got the news. It's a tragic week in overall, but as the doors of VIBE Media Group close, on the eve of the magazine's sixteenth anniversary, it's a sad day for music, for hip hop in particular, and for the millions of readers and users who have loved and who continue to love the VIBE brand. We thank you, we have served you with joy, pride and excellence, and we will miss you.

Danyel Smith
the former Chief Content Officer VIBE Media Group
& Editor in Chief, VIBE

Gawker speculated that Vibe may have had the most demographically diverse readership of any music magazine. Will those readers find a place to gather -- say, at  the Source or HiphopDX? Or is it more likely that they'll scatter to smaller music venues? Can publishing sustain a general interest music magazine anymore?

-- Carolyn Kellogg