Vibe Magazine’s Print Edition Becomes Latest Casualty Of The Digital Age

Like the transition from inked parchment to the Gutenberg Press, the early 21st century has been a transitioning period for journalism. The digital age has been the bubonic plague for established print publications. On Thursday, Vibe kicked nostalgia to the curb, by giving its print edition the boot from newsstands. According to the New York Times, the sale of Vibe to Spin Media will likely result in the urban hip-hop magazine dropping its bi-monthly publication edition and transitioning to a strictly digital platform.

SpinMedia, a group of music and pop culture Web sites that includes Spin magazine, has bought Vibe, the 21-year-old R&B and hip-hop magazine.

SpinMedia announced the sale on Thursday, saying that it had bought the rights to Vibe’s print magazine and its related sites, and, from Vibe Media. The price was not disclosed.

Calling Vibe “an industry leader in the urban and hip-hop category for decades,” Steve Hansen, SpinMedia’s chief executive, added in an interview: “It’s really exciting to add this to SpinMedia’s collection of music properties and bring more digital DNA to the team and see what they can do.”

“We are still trying to find a print model that makes economic sense in the digital age,” he said.

SpinMedia, until recently known as Buzz Media, owns or represents more than 40 sites, like Celebuzz, Idolator and JustJared, that cater to young pop-culture fans and compete with a range of sites like Gawker, TMZ, Pitchfork and BuzzFeed.

Despite, the elimination of its print edition, third time may be the charm for Vibe. Launched in 1993 by music producer Quincy Jones, the iconic magazine was abruptly shut down and ceased publication on June 30, 2009, before being revived months later.


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