Vibe Magazine Purchased by SpinMedia; Will Likely Go Online-Only

Vibe Magazine Alicia Keys cover P

The hip-hop/R&B magazine was founded by Quincy Jones and Time Warner in 1992.

SpinMedia, the company formerly known as Buzz Media that includes a number of websites including Spin magazine, has bought Vibe, the hip-hop/R&B magazine founded by Quincy Jones and Time Warner in 1992.

SpinMedia has acquired the rights to Vibe’s print magazine as well as to its related sites, and, from Vibe Media for an undisclosed price, the company announced on Thursday.

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The sale sees Spin and Vibe reunited: For many years they were under the same corporate umbrella, although both titles have been under several different owners as magazine sales have declined over the past decade.

Vibe becomes SpinMedia’s 46th consumer title, joining Spin, Celebuzz, Buzznet, Idolator, Stereogum, Hype Machine and other entities it owns or for which it sells advertising.

“We’re on a mission to transform the native digital media model in our category and Vibe is an exciting addition to our family of owned and operated brands,” said Steve Hansen, SpinMedia CEO, in a statement.

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Less than three weeks after Buzz Media purchased Spin last July, the company laid off a a third of its staff and ceased publication of the struggling print magazine, although it has shied away from saying the print version will not return at some point.

Since then, the site’s online traffic has doubled, and Hansen told the New York Times that he has no plans to revive the magazine at present and Vibe’s print magazine will probably shut down later this year.

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

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