News: Drake & Chris Brown Featured On Vibe Magazine's Re-Launch Issue

Tuesday, Nov 3, 2009 11:00AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Vibe Magazine will reportedly use Drake and Chris Brown as its feature cover stars when the publication re-launches next month.

Details on the re-launch landed online Monday (November 2).

The cover with Chris Brown actually shares the print run with covers featuring Drake, another hip-hop artist. But it's the Chris Brown cover that's more likely to get people talking. Now the print edition is coming back with a reduced frequency, four issues next year compared with the 10 once planned for 2009, and a smaller paid circulation guarantee, 300,000 now compared to 600,000 at shutdown. That partly reflects the tough economy. It's a result, too, of abandoning all subscribers to the old Vibe, who now have to buy new subscriptions if they want the new print edition; InterMedia didn't take on liability for prior subscribers when it bought Vibe's assets. The return issue, out Dec. 8 in a slightly over-sized format, is expected to include more than 40 pages of advertising. (Ad Age)

Former Vibe Magazine Editor-In-Chief Danyel Smith previously spoke on the magazine's downfall over the summer.

"The magazine business overall has been in such a state, frankly since I came back three years ago. I always had it at the front of my mind. Frankly, we talked about it and was it a complete surprise to me that day? Um, no, I don't think it was for any of my fantastic staff. We had gone down to four days a week...We were all making sacrifices because we wanted the brand to live. We were all strategizing and working really hard and I'm just really really broken hearted. There will be a bounce back, there's no question about that but I'm really broken hearted. It's sad, I don't know where those stories are gonna be told the way they were told in Vibe...To be honest with you, a lot of people are probably going to try to buy the brand either as a whole or in pieces. And who knows what's gonna happen and who knows if I or anybody who was there will would be there...Who knows what can happen." (Shade 45)

Vibe founder Quincy Jones had initially announced his plans to purchase the magazine.

"I'm trying to buy my magazine back now," he said in an interview. "They just messed my magazine all up, but I'm gonna get it back. You better believe it, I'ma take it online because print and all that stuff is over. We gotta get into the 21st century you know. Print and all that stuff is over, we gotta remember that. The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Post Intelligencer. The Miami Herald. They're over the same way as the record business. We have got to get into this century." (Ebony Jet)

Vibe's former CEO Steve Aaron previously released a statement which addressed why the magazine came to an unexpected end after 16 years.

"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." (Statement)

No further details have been announced as of now.

Check out some Vibe behind-the-scenes footage below:

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