Vibe Finally Bites the Dust

Vibe magazineVIBE, the urban-music magazine founded by Quincy Jones, will cease publication effective yesterday, June 30, due to “lack of additional financial investments.”

Danyel Smith, Vibe’s editor-in-chief wrote:

“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.”

The magazine has been stumbling along for several years, dropping ad pages 36% since 2005 and with newsstand sales falling 11% in the second half of 2008 from the previous year.  The owner, Wicks Group of Companies, last February cut Vibe’s circulation 25%, reduced its frequency from 12 to 10 issues a year, and slashed salaries 10% to 15% but neither was of any help.

The future of the music magazine genre looks bleak.  BLENDER is gone, ROLLING STONE and SPIN ad pages are down 21% and 26%, respectively.  And, THE SOURCE, XXL, FADER, PASTE – all hanging on by their fingernails.

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