SpinMedia buys Vibe magazine and related sites

AP News
Posted: Apr 25, 2013 4:53 PM

SpinMedia has bought Vibe in a deal that could prove to be the end of the print edition of the famed hip-hop culture magazine.

Vibe magazine was founded in 1993 by legendary producer Quincy Jones. The company has changed hands several times and like many publications, has turned its focus to its online business as the popularity of print products has faded among consumers.

Under the terms of the deal, digital media company SpinMedia will acquire Vibe.com, Vibevixen.com and the print rights to Vibe magazine. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SpinMedia, previously known as Buzzmedia, owns a number of pop culture brands such as SPIN, Celebuzz, The Frisky and Buzznet. The company did not say in a news release if it would close Vibe's print publication, but indicated its focus would be on building Vibe's digital business.

A representative for SpinMedia could not be reached immediately for comment Thursday.

Vibe could follow the path of another landmark music magazine, SPIN, which Buzzmedia acquired last year and subsequently halted print production, opting instead for an online-only presence.

Vibe Media CEO Ari Horowitz said in a statement that the company made huge strides developing Vibe as a digital and mobile property over the past year, having doubled its online traffic.

"Joining with SpinMedia will enable Vibe to continue to evolve and grow as a vibrant digital media brand," he said.

Vibe was shut down abruptly in 2009 due to drop in advertising revenue that has killed many magazines. But it was later revived by private equity investors.