As sad as it is, it wasn’t completely unexpected that Vibe, launched in 1993 by Quincy Jones, would fold. Yesterday, when they announced it was no longer operating, it seemed as though some of the vibe of Vibe started to trickle out since 2006 when the magazine was sold to Wicks Group for $20 million. Around that time, Vibe had started to lose its popularity, especially with its original target market of hip-hop lovers and urban culture. In the last couple of years, it announced it was moving from 12 issues to 10 issues, cut back salaries, and circ down to 600,000 from 800,000.
But back in the day, Vibe it seemed was on a roll of greatness. It had a great website, a TV network, and its own awards show -the pinnacle moment for any magazine.
According to Steve Aaron, Vibe’s CEO, the decline in automotive, fashion, and multi-cultural advertising took its toll on the publication. The magazine could not restructure its debt, and like many other titles that we loved (Blender, MissBehave), it had to fold.
Ironically, staff was told it was over as they were putting together a massive commemorative issue to Michael Jackson.