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?