Did Vibe miss the online vibe?
Here’s an entry from our very own Reuters New York equities team summer intern Chavon Sutton. (Thanks, Chavon!)
Did Vibe magazine, the print ambassador of hip-hop culture, voice and style, pass up a chance to survive last year?
Vibe, the baby of acclaimed producer Quincy Jones (the composer who produced the late Michael Jackson’s mega-hit albums, “Thriller” and “Off the Wall,”), said earlier this week that it was shutting down immediately.
A partnership with an online gossip website serving African-American readers, might have given it room to keep producing, according to the site’s founder and editor.
“We came to Vibe and offered it a deal where they’d sell our ads and in return, they’d get a stake in the ads they sold,” Mwangagunhunga said.
The partnership could have given Vibe “$1 million a month, but they didn’t want it,” he said.
$1 million a month? Hard to say. (For what it’s worth, Mwangaguhunga says Mediatakeout.com gets 3 to 5 million unique viewers and 150 million page impressions per month.)
We tried to reach Vibe, or whatever is left of it, but a computerized voicemail message at the magazine’s office said: “Message quota exceeded. Goodbye.”
Did Vibe take a wise pass in the hopes of striking a better online deal? Or do its actions suggest that it is another example of entrenched print types avoiding imminent change?
It could be a pointless question. Jones told EbonyJet.com that he plans to buy back the magazine, which had a circulation of over 800,000, according to The New York Times.
Incidentally, Ebony apparently isn’t interested in working with Mediatakeout either.
“We made the same proposal to Ebony [magazine] which is facing pressure now,” he said. “I’m not sure why they’re saying no.”