Thursday, July 2, 2009

The VIBE Is Gone

The music stopped. And now the VIBE is gone.

Just days after the untimely death of pop-icon, Michael Jackson, another shot heard round the music world rang out early this week, when rumors of unimaginable proportion became true. After almost 16 years of publication and over 100 issues, VIBE Media Group, publisher of VIBE Magazine and, closed their doors on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009. Citing a diminishing subscription base and a collapse of the advertising model for the periodical industry, all VIBE properties closed shop and all 48 employees were let go. “It’s a sad day for music, for hip hop in particular, and for the millions of readers and users who have loved and who continue to love the VIBE brand,” said Danyel Smith, Editor-In-Chief of VIBE Magazine.

I remember the first time I purchased a VIBE magazine. I was at a Sam Goody Music Store and I remember seeing a double cover for VIBE that featured Puff Daddy. I thought it was cool that he had two different covers and I had recently purchased his debut album, No Way Out, so I figured I would grab the magazine along with my other weekly music purchases. Once home, I began what was literally a month’s worth of reading. From editorials and pictorials to music reviews and interviews, VIBE was THE source for music news, but even more so for cultural exploration. With coverage that went beyond the present, VIBE made a point to educate and entertain. It was through VIBE that I first learned of the inspirational and tragic story of the DeBarge family. It was through VIBE that I witnessed images of many cities that I have yet to visit. It was through VIBE that I gained a relationship with music that went beyond what I heard on the radio.

I appreciate all that VIBE gave to us, the readers, over the years. I will miss seeing that bold, capitalized logo with the latest and greatest on the cover each month in my mailbox. I salute the entire staff at VIBE Media Group. Job Well Done.

The first issue of VIBE in 1993 featured Snoop Doggy Dogg.


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