News: Vibe Magazine Folds, Writers React

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 1:43PM

Written by Danica Dow

After 16 years on newsstands, Vibe magazine, the biggest urban music magazines, has ceased publication.

Danyel Smith, the magazine's editor-in-chief, has released a statement today.

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. (Statement)

News of the magazine's fate hit the internet earlier today.

Vibe magazine, the urban-music magazine founded in 1993 by Quincy Jones, is the latest victim of the media recession. A source with knowledge of the situation tells DailyFinance that the staff has learned the magazine is ceasing publication, and assistants in the offices of editor in chief Danyel Smith and publisher Edgar Hernandez confirmed the news. (Daily Finance)

In February of 2009, Vibe released plans to reduce its circulation and frequency of publication as a response to the economic crisis.

Beginning March 1, staffers will be asked to work four days per week, and have their salaries slashed 10 to 15 percent, according to a Vibe spokesperson. Vibe will cut its guaranteed rate base 25 percent in July to 600,000 copies (down from 800,000). The monthly magazine is also trimming its frequency to 10 times per year. (Folio Mag)

The publication had also been suffering from drops in advertisements.

This year through March, Vibe's ad pages fell 41.7 percent to 107, per the Media Week Monitor. Circ has been hard-hit, too; total paid and verified was down 8.6 percent for the second half of 2008, blunted in part by a 280 percent increase in verified copies. In the same period, paid subs fell 19.6 percent while single-copy sales fell 10.8 percent. (Media Week)

Former Vibe staffers and contributors reacted to the news viaTwitter.

Businesses shutting down represent end of past, current, & future dreams. My 5 yrs @ Vibe were the most enjoyable & formidable. (Hyun Kim's Twitter)
I wrote some of my best pieces for Vibe. But I mourned their passing years ago. (Dream Hampton's Twitter)
Mentors, an internship, and a wealth of published pieces with VIBE magazine... if the rumors are true, I'll always have the memories :) (Georgette Cline's Twitter)
R.I.P. reading (Clover Hope's Twitter)

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