Alternate Cover of Vibe’s March 2009 issue. Thanks To EH.
Vibe is officially under observation as rumors have surfaced that they may not have enough money to print the upcoming issue.
Executives from the Wicks Group (Private Equity Owners) came to the office on Friday and met with CEO Steve Aaron and Publisher Edgar Hernandez. Things around the office are very tense.
The tipster says that more meetings are scheduled for this afternoon. And they say that the only ads Vibe has booked for the March issue are “Army, Carson Soft Sheen & Jamster”—not even a fifth of the usual number of ads.
While this may be a rumor, there is often a sliver of truth in each fruit off the grapevine and since this one deals with ad space it probably does ring a more true. Ad sales are an essential part of the lifeblood that keeps a magazine’s ink pumping. To not have 4/5 of your ads filled would be detrimental and would have any magazine scrambling. They may be able to fill enough ad space for this issue or call in some favors. But if the Army, Carson Soft Sheen, & Jamster are all you have on fold at any point, problems are brewing somewhere down the line. When you consider that Vibe isn’t strictly “Hip-Hop” in its focus & content, one would figure that advertisers would be chomping at the bit to magazine that can hit so many different cross sections of demographics.
I’m a magazine junkie and have five big plastic crates full of back issues of The Source, XXL, Vibe & Slam dating back to high school and the lean times haven’t gone unnoticed by me. The rate in which these publications thickness have fallen is only rivaled by Lindsey Lohan when she picked up the pipe. Truthfully, I don’t think I’ve bought any magazines since the start of the New Year and forgot about them at all until I saw new issues at a friend’s house last week. The main problem I have now is there isn’t much I can learn from reading them anymore. The internet has changed the news cycle from monthly to daily and turned magazines almost obsolete. They’re good to have, but like CD’s I really only get them for physical archive purposes and out of nostalgia.
Late yesterday, Vibe did release a statement saying the current issue will be on newstands & that the rumors of money problems are “untrue.” However, be it March or somewhere down the line, one of these magazines will probably fall. You can blame it on the recession and/or failure to adapt to the ways information is dispensed now; but it’s only a matter of time.