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Vibe magazine closure shocks staff

Vibe magazine closes

Vibe magazine closes

Vibe Media Group (VMG), publisher of urban music magazine Vibe, announced it will be folding. In a letter today, VMG CEO Steve Aaron informed his employees about the closure. “It is with a heavy heart that I share some tough news, VMG is closing down effective today, June 30th.”

Vibe Magazine was one of the first consumer magazines to cater to hip-hop culture. Its closure is a major blow to the industry and hip-hop fans. Founded by legendary music producer Quincy Jones, Vibe Magazine was launched in 1993. The glossy monthly underwent a redesign in 2008 and had a circulation of approximately 800,000.

Vibe editorial staff members were shocked by the news, including deputy managing editor Angela Watford. “Let me just say we’re very upset. We’re horrendously angry and sad,” Watford told inVocus.

For some, though, this news did not come as a surprise. In early May, rumors began to surface on several hip-hop blogs that VMG was in financial trouble and had filed for bankruptcy. The company denied the assertion and announced it was actually expanding its brand with the launch of MOST! Magazine, a tabloid-style publication.

As in most recent media closings, the nation’s current economic conditions played a major factor in VMG’s shuttering. Aaron attributed the company losing its top print advertisers over the past year as a driving force behind the company folding.

–Doug Quzack

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