Vibe Magazine Makes Return


Even in the darkest of hours, there seems to always be a light shining at the end of the tunnel as dawn breaks through the shadows. There may be hope for Vibe Magazine after all as they have re-emerged from certain death to bring themselves back up…at least in terms of their Web site.

Quincy Jones, the founder of the magazine, initially made claims that he would find a means in which to bring back his brand in some form, but it seems as though someone else may have stepped up to the plate in order to deal with the task.

InterMedia Partners, in partnership with Uptown Media Group announced today that they will be purchasing the assets of Vibe and Vibe.com. The site, above all else, will be launched again immediately and the magazine is expected to resurface sometime in November/December 2009. In 2010, the brand will condense itself and be released quarterly.

The magazine, along with everything under the brand, closed its doors and ceased running publication on June 30 after running for 16 years as it was another publication that was a victim of the recession. Steve Aaron, the magazine’s CEO, confirmed the retiring of the magazine and accredited it to the capital market collapsing as the brand slowly begun to lose investment resources that was essential in restructuring their debt.

Although rookies will be brought into the game, veterans will still have minutes on the court as old players such as Robert Miller and Leonard Burnett will hold down the leadership. These two were originally team members of the imprint.

The new venture with InterMedia will revamp the design of Vibe, along with content strategy and business model to bring it back to the top of the line in terms of its place in urban entertainment. They will also place a focus on developing the Vibe Lifestyle Network of targeted Web sites and Uptown Media Network. Responsibility will be placed in the hands of Chris Smith and Parker McNaughton of Blackrock Digital who will oversee sponsorship and ad sales. Blackrock has history with Vibe as it was responsible for digital sales for the Web site for the past four years.

“Vibe is the preeminent brand in R&B and Hip-Hop. We feel privileged to purchase and resurrect such a storied brand,” explained David Koff, a Senior Partner at InterMedia Partners. “Together with the re-launch of Soul Train this fall and the rapid expansion of Uptown Magazine, a reinvigorated Vibe enables us to serve a broad spectrum of the African American audience with high quality entertainment and information.”

InterMedia Partners history includes standing behind MadVision with the purchase of the program Soul Train from founder Don Cornelius in May 2008. The show airs today in repeats and MadVision wants to expand the branch by placing it on multiple platforms like broadband and VOD, video on demand.

For everyone that couldn’t believe that Vibe was able to just disappear without a trace, even with such an extensive history, they were right to have doubts as an escape route has been found to get the brand out of the pit that seemed to be bottomless.