Len Burnett, a co-founder of African-American lifestyle magazine Uptown, has purchased the title back from Intermedia Vibe Holdings. The magazine, originally acquired in a takeover, will split from VIBE magazine’s parent company and plans to hire folks from his former team.
Burnett, the now former co-CEO and group publisher of the Uptown Media Group, says that the split with Intermedia Vibe was amicable, reports the New York Post.
“There was no falling out, said Burnett. “They just wanted to put more emphasis on Vibe and the digital portion, and they gave us the opportunity to buy back Uptown.”
Intermedia Vibe Holdings made a splash after the company, led by a joint effort featuring Leo Hindery Jr., Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Ron Burkle, took over the company in 2011. Almost exactly a year ago, Vibe Holdings purchased Blackbook Media and in late September 2012, VIBE partnered with AOL to syndicate its video content.
While Burnett was mum on the details of the sale, it was officially closed at the end of 2012 before going public with the news. Uptown Editor-In-Chief Angela Bronner Helm will step down from her role, making way for features editor Isoul Harris. Former Intermedia executive Brett Wright will also be joining Burnett’s staff, including six others from Uptown Media. With a circulation of 250,000, the bi-monthly print publication is said to be backed by “wealthy individuals” that Burnett has yet to name.
Burnett is well known in the world of African-American media, serving as an executive alongside Quincy Jones during the 1993 launch of VIBE magazine. He later worked with Vanguarde Media’s Keith Clinkscales, releasing a slew of publications aimed at Black audiences.
Photo: Uptown Magazine