Photo from Concrete Loop, Obama Magazine
As many people know, Vibe magazine, which was launched by Quincy Jones in 1993, shut down immediately on Tuesday. There was a statement from Vibe Editor-in-Cheif Danyel Smith that was released about the closing of the magazine:
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 former Chief Content Officer VIBE Media Group
& Editor in Chief, VIBE
And this article by the New York times explains the history and the prominence of Vibe magazine over the years.
I’ll admit that I haven’t picked up an issue of Vibe magazine in a long time myself. I found other sources for my urban music and gossip fixes online. However, when I was younger, Vibe was definitely on my list of “must buy” magazines every month, and I was always anxious to read about what was going on in the urban music/gossip/fashion world.
As I got older, I started looking at other sources for my urban media fix and my interest in Vibe waned I read a couple of issues of Vibe Vixen during its short tenure, but I wasn’t surprised when it folded. I was used to magazines targeted towards young, professional women of color such as Honey and Suede.
However, I never thought Vibe would fold. I’d heard about the shortened hours of their staff and other cutbacks. But I thought they’d stay around or worst case scenario, publish online only.
Now, as the New York Times also points out, the only large circulation magazines to represent the Hip-Hop and R&B culture are The Source and XXL. However, they didn’t have the same cross-over appeal as Vibe.
I think the gap that Vibe magazine will be leaving is huge for the artists, publishing industry and staff. It is definitely a sign of changing times for print publishing. Whether Quincy Jones buys the magazine back and puts the magazine online or not, the the state of the print magazine industry continues in its downward spiral with this latest casualty.