June 30, 2009

Vibe Magazine Closes- Quincy Jones Wants It Back

From EbonyJet.com Vibe magazine founder Quincy Jones is distraught over the news that the famous hip-hop publication today shuttered its doors. Though no longer the owner, he did not anticipate this sudden demise, and he says he’s going to bring it back to life – albeit in a slightly different way.

“I’m trying to buy my magazine back now,” Jones told EbonyJet.com just moments ago during a telephone call to Jones’ London abode. “They just messed my magazine all up, but I’m gonna get it back. You better believe it, I’m’a take it online because print and all that stuff is over.”

Jones created Vibe in 1993. It soon became the voice of urban youth, showcasing hip-hop and R&B artists in a way that older, more staid publications would not. Many described Vibe as a black Rolling Stone, but perhaps bigger. Amongst the publication’s famous covers were those featuring hip hop giants placing hip hop giants 2pac and the Notorious B.I.G. The magazine’s last cover featured Eminem.
Vibe was purchased by Wicks Media Group in 2006. In February of this year staff were told they would have slashed salaries, a four-day workday and that the company would only publish 10 issues in 2010 in order to save money. But that wasn’t enough. At around 2 p.m. CST, the Internet flooded with news, care of gawker.com, that the company was folding. Moments later, according to Gawker, Vibe editor-in-chief Danyel Smith issued the following statement: 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. Danyel Smith”

No one answered phones at Vibe’s offices on Tuesday afternoon, but the mag’s most recent Twitter said only: “Thanks for everything.”

Jones said he was proud of the magazine that fell to its demise mostly due to the economic recession that cut the advertising budgets of companies that normally advertised with magazines.

Vibe is only the latest magazine to encounter such problems. Nickelodeon Magazine and King have closed in addition to music industry magazine Radio and Records has also shuttered.

Jones says that all publications must figure out how to live online. That’s where he’s going to take Vibe once he recovers from the death of his friend and protégé Michael Jackson.

“We gotta get into the 21st century you know,” Jones said. “ “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.”

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