Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The next celebrity death: VIBE Magazine
Can't say I'll miss it, but the death of VIBE, which was founded by Quincy Jones in 1992, and then sold to others and turned into a really wide teen magazine, must be dutifully acknowledged.

Word was broken early this afternoon by the Web site and spread to other music and media news sites. The spokeswoman, Tracy Nguyen, said the Vibe staff would be formally notified in a meeting at 2 p.m. She said she did not know how many people would be laid off as a result of the closure.

The closure of Vibe leaves just one large-circulation music magazine, The Source, focusing on hip-hop and R&B. The Source has had its own troubles, going through a bankruptcy and emerging under new ownership last year. A rock-focused magazine, Blender, folded last year.

In a memo to staff members announcing the closure, Steve Aaron, chief of the Vibe Media Group, wrote that for months, the company tried in vain to either find new investors or “to restructure the huge debt on our small company.”

“The print advertising collapse hit Vibe hard, especially as key ad categories like automotive and fashion, which represented the bulk of our top 10 advertisers, have stopped advertising or gone out of business,” he wrote.

What these and other articles don't say, is that VIBE and other print magazines like it, have essentially been rendered obsolete by the Internet, as sites like Bossip, TMZ, Livesteez and on and on, can break entertainment news in an instant, and keep fans constantly supplied with dirt. The same death knell that newspapers are hearing is clanging in the heads of magazines, which don't even have newspapers' essentiality and news bureaus to keep them relevant. It's time for media to adapt or die.

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posted by JReid @ 4:55 PM  
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