Vibe Folds.

eminem-vibe-cover1

According to some Twitterati, and a couple of reputable sources, Vibe Magazine is folding.

A few months ago, in an effort to cut costs, Vibe folded its online operation into the print side, cut employees down to a four-day work week, and offered furloughs. Obviously, these tactics didn’t work, and it makes me wonder if the only way for a publication to survive in this economy is to find the magic number: just enough staff to keep it running.

As Gawker noted, Vibe likely had the most diverse readership of any music magazine. But with advertisers cutting back and subscriptions falling, it doesn’t matter how diverse the readership is.

I was never a religious Vibe reader, but I have a number of friends who have worked there, and I usually enjoyed flipping through it (or at least looking at the dope covers). And, Vibe published Elizabeth Berry’s awesome article on violence and misogyny in hip-hop, that I still return to frequently. So, obviously, this sucks in a number of ways.

Perhaps Vibe.com, which has become more robust in recent times, will survive.

UPDATE: Quincy Jones to the rescue?

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3 comments to Vibe Folds.

  • Grump

    Do print magazines and journals still need to be supported or are they even seen as viable sources of information still? I ask this because of what I heard David Simon say a few weeks back on Bill Maher about how alot of the print industry really didn’t focus on researching ways to become better or adaptive.

    Hell, I’m scared to see if the gavle will come down on Ebony/Jet….

  • Rest in Peace Vibe Magazine! You will be missed

  • “Do print magazines and journals still need to be supported or are they even seen as viable sources of information still?”

    This sort of depends on the publication, yes?

    ” I ask this because of what I heard David Simon say a few weeks back on Bill Maher about how alot of the print industry really didn’t focus on researching ways to become better or adaptive.”

    I love David Simon, but he does righteous indignation, not specifics. The problem the print industry is facing isn’t that there isn’t a market for their product, it’s getting people to pay for the product that they obviously want and can now get for free. The New York Times has the most popular website in the world, and it’s routinely cited for its innovation. The company still lost $74 million dollars last quarter.

    How does David Simon suggest fixing that?

    “Hell, I’m scared to see if the gavle will come down on Ebony/Jet….”

    If anything, Ebony and Jet are exactly the kind of publications that are most endangered. The stuff they do (celebrity profiles and lifestyle pieces) is done by just about everyone, and they don’t do those things all that well. It’s telling that no one ever, ever, links to an Ebony or Jet magazine piece. Outside of sentimental reasons, there’s no compelling reason to read them.

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