Vibe Magazine Feels Pressure From Recession, Cuts Salaries & Circulation

Vibe Magazine Feels Pressure From Recession, Cuts Salaries & Circulation

Hip-Hop monthly Vibe Magazine has released plans to reduce its circulation and frequency of publication as a response to the current economic crisis which has hit the publishing world.

One of the publication’s first moves will be decreasing the writing staff’s work schedule.

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)

While other publications are laying off workers, Vibe has chosen an alternate path.

“Based on the financial climate and based on what’s going on, we needed to make a tough decision,” said Steve Aaron, CEO of Vibe Media Group. “We decided not to follow the old-school textbook of restructuring and instead look for ways to keep the talent in place.” Employees were told of the changes in a meeting [Wednesday] afternoon.” (Advertising Age)

Vibe has also suffered 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)

Founder Quincy Jones launched Vibe in September 1992.

Quincy Jones says that he’s getting into the magazine business because he’s fed up with rock music magazines like Rolling Stone that virtually ignore rap. That’s why Jones – with financial backing from Time Warner Inc. – founded Vibe, a publication whose “test” issue hits news stands this week. It has attracted some big advertisers like Nike and Levi Strauss, who are eager to reach 18- to 24-year-old opinion leaders. (Los Angeles Times)



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