In late June we had the distinct displeasure of reporting that Vibe magazine was folding. Now according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s coming back thanks to InterMedia Partners and its luxury publisher Uptown Media. At least in digital form: “Vibe, the hip-hop magazine that folded six weeks ago under a pile of debt, is being resurrected with a new spin — as a Web-focused publication with a greater emphasis on Vibe’s roots.”
There were rumors that Quincy Jones would buy back the title; there’s no word yet on whether he’ll be involved with this version.
In a Gawker-published a staff memo from Vibe Media CEO Steve Aaron to his team back in June, Aaron explained, “The relentless economic situation has depressed our growth initiatives on the digital front. To be clear, VMG has made significant improvement in this part of our business, but not at the accelerated pace required to offset the devastating effects of the most severe recession in our lifetime and the accompanying print losses.”
Vibe.com is set to launch in the upcoming weeks, with a quarterly print edition to follow. The focus will be wider than hip-hop, and the print version will be packaged with Uptown magazine. It’s good to see the brand coming back — and it will be even better to see how they reinvent themselves digitally. Will other struggling mags follow suit?
On a side note: If you didn’t check out Complex’s Dead Rap Magazines feature back in July, do so now.