VIBE FOUNDER–Oprah Winfrey, left, leads inductee Quincy Jones on the stage after as Jones during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP)
by Sarah Skidmore
AP Business Writer
SpinMedia has bought Vibe in a deal that could mean the end of the print edition of the famed hip-hop culture magazine.
Vibe magazine was founded in 1993 by legendary producer Quincy Jones. The company has changed hands several times and, like many publications, has turned its focus to its online business as the popularity of print has faded among consumers.
Under the terms of the deal, digital media company SpinMedia will acquire Vibe.com, Vibevixen.com and the print rights to Vibe magazine. Financial terms were not disclosed.
SpinMedia, previously known as Buzzmedia, owns a number of pop culture brands such as SPIN, Celebuzz, The Frisky and Buzznet. The company did not say in a news release if it would close Vibe’s print publication, but indicated that its focus would be on building Vibe’s digital business.
Vibe could follow the path of another landmark music magazine, SPIN, which Buzzmedia acquired last year. The company subsequently halted print production, opting instead for an online-only presence.
Julie Walker, a spokeswoman for SpinMedia, said the details surrounding Vibe magazine are still being worked out.
Vibe Media CEO Ari Horowitz said in a statement that the company made huge strides developing Vibe as a digital and mobile property over the past year, having doubled its online traffic.
“Joining with SpinMedia will enable Vibe to continue to evolve and grow as a vibrant digital media brand,” he said.
Vibe was shut down abruptly in 2009 due to a drop in advertising revenue amid an industry slump that killed many magazines. It was later revived by private equity investors.
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