Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Rise and Fall of Vibe Magazine

Amidst all the news and commentary about Michael Jackson's death, many didn't even notice that Vibe Magazine shut down last week.

Ironically, Vibe Magazine was originally started in 1993 by Quincy Jones - who also produced Michael Jackson's biggest album "Thriller". He had since sold the company, but is now looking to buy it back.

According to Danyel Smith, editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine, "The staff was working on a tribute issue to Michael Jackson when they got the news."

For it's final six months, Vibe had a circulation of 817,825, but had a 42% decline in ad pages in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008 - according to the Publishers Information Bureau.

At one point, Vibe was the biggest magazine dedicated to Black music - bigger than both XXL and Source magazines. There also was a short-lived spin off publication for women called Vibe Vixen Magazine.

Sadly, Vibe is just one of many Black media outlets that have been forced to close their doors. Several local Black newspapers have also folded in the past year.

Even worse, it was just 2007 when the Black Family Channel - an up and coming television network - had to shut down as well.

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