East: Vibe Explains Unexpected End, "The Print Advertising Collapse Hit Us Hard"

Wednesday, Jul 1, 2009 9:20AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Vibe Magazine's CEO Steve Aaron has confirmed his publication's end and informed readers how the magazine came to an end after 16 years of publishing.

In a statement directed to his staff, Aaron explained the numerous issues Vibe encountered which led to its end.

"The collapse of the capital markets has impacted us greatly," he wrote. "Over the past several months, we have actively pursued investment resources while working intensively with our bank to find a solution. But the deal market right now remains very poor and at the end of the day, the lack of investment resources to restructure the huge debt on our small company has made this outcome become a reality. The print advertising collapse hit VIBE hard, especially as key ad categories like automotive and fashion, which represented the bulk of our top 10 advertisers, have stopped advertising or gone out of business...The relentless economic situation has depressed our growth initiatives on the digital front. To be clear, VMG has made significant improvement in this part of our business, but not at the accelerated pace required to offset the devastating effects of the most severe recession in our lifetime and the accompanying print losses." (Rap Radar)

The magazine's Editor-In-Chief Danyel Smith released a statement yesterday (June 30) which explained her reaction to learning of the magazine's end.

"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," she wrote. "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 publication's fate landed online Tuesday morning.

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 2009, Vibe released plans to reduce its circulation 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 will reportedly not release a final issue.

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