HipHopWired Featured Video

Vibe Holdings Acquires BlackBook Media, Access Network Company


A new deal combining the media properties of three major outlets was announced today (January 4),  giving new life to three magazines popular among young consumers. Vibe Holdings, the parent company of Vibe Magazine under the InterMedia Partners investment umbrella, has acquired the rights to BlackBook Media and its technology arm, Access Network Company, in a move to tap into the growing mobile network market, reports AdWeek.

Helmed by billionaire investor Ron Burkle and former NBA superstar Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Vibe Holdings joined with InterMedia Partners in the acquisition, which will effectively combine three widely circulated publications. Vibe, Uptown and BlackBook will now be joined to help create a broader audience for the new company, Vibe Media, to pitch potential partnerships with advertisers.

Access Network CEO Ari Horowitz will move into the same role for Vibe Media with Magic Johnson maintaining his chairman role at Vibe Holdings. Len Burnett and Brett Wright, both co-CEOs for the vast Vibe Lifestyle Network, will continue in their roles, reporting to Horowitz. The acquisition’s main piece, however, is Access Network’s mobile software, which powers publications and brands such as Elle and Maxim, among others.

“The technology piece is extremely important to this business,” offers Burnett. “With BlackBook, we get a terrific brand and a history of thoughtful design and culture for a cool downtown audience, and in Access we get a cool technology network.”

Magic Johnson and Burkle’s firm Yucaipa Companies, joined InterMedia (which purchased Vibe in 2009) as investors last February.

Sources tell Hip-Hop Wired that Vibe will be moving from its current New York City offices on 125th St. to BlackBook’s on 19th St.