News: Vibe Magazine Snags Former King Mag Editor-In-Chief

Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009 10:15AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Vibe Magazine has tapped former King Magazine Editor-In-Chief Jermaine Hall to take over the publication's re-launch controlling both the print and online editions.

Hall's new duties have been disclosed.

In a telephone interview, Brett Wright, the co-chief executive of the Vibe Lifestyle Network, described Mr. Hall as 'a very good writer and a well-connected journalist.' Mr. Wright said that going forward, vibe.com would provide coverage of urban music and entertainment on a 'regular, daily, hourly, by-minute basis' while the print magazine would focus on investigative reporting and long form stories. Overall, Mr. Wright said he wanted the Vibe brand to continue to serve the 'hip-hop generation' while it expanded its music coverage to include more R&B, reggae, dancehall and pop, as well as other 'things it had gotten away from' in the arenas of entertainment, fashion and sports. (The New York Times)

Despite folding in June, Vibe was purchased earlier this month.

A group led by Leo Hindery's PE firm InterMedia Partners and its luxury publisher Uptown Media is picking up the magazine, and more important, its website. Vibe.com is the linchpin of the plans described in the WSJ : reopen the site in coming weeks, publish a print edition at the end of the year with and then go quarterly. No financial terms but maybe CapitalSource Bank, which foreclosed on previous owner Wicks Group, is paying them a dollar. The acquisition gives InterMedia more to market to advertisers targeting African-Americans. The Journal says the site and the mag will be packaged with Uptown magazine; ads for the site will be sold by Blackrock Digital. Editorially, they'll go wider than hip-hop, which should help. (Reuters)

InterMedia Partners President David Koff also confirmed the purchase.

"Vibe is the preeminent brand in R&B and hip-hop," he said in a statement. "We feel privileged to purchase and resurrect such a storied brand. Together with the relaunch of Soul Train this fall and the rapid expansion of Uptown Magazine, a reinvigorated Vibe enables us to serve a broad spectrum of the African American audience with high quality entertainment and information." (Hip Hop Press)

King closed its operations in late March, however, did not offer an explanation for shutting down.

We don't often post rumors, despite the number of them that cross our desks daily (many of which end up being true). I felt like posting this one though. We just got word that KING Magazine (aka Butts and Rims) is closing shop, not even releasing it's next issue. In this strained economy, the already dying print format is suffering big time. It is upsetting to hear of people losing jobs, but can this be considered a victory for women (in particular black women) who struggle against objectification at every turn? I have to admit, I enjoy the images, but I know it can't really be good for raising the standards of our society. What do you think? (Okay Player)

Vibe will reportedly launch its first issue in November 2009.

Peep some behind-the-scenes Vibe footage below:

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