Quincy Jones Hoping To Plug “Vibe” Back In

noah | July 1, 2009 10:00 am

Shorty after yesterday’s announcement that the hip-hop/R & B magazine Vibe had folded, Adrienne Samuels Gibbs at EbonyJet.com rang up the magazine’s founder, Quincy Jones. And he already had a plan: “I’m trying to buy my magazine back now,” Jones told Gibbs. “They just messed my magazine all up, but I’m gonna get it back. You better believe it, I’m’a take it online because print and all that stuff is over.”

Jones says that all publications must figure out how to live online. That’s where he’s going to take Vibe once he recovers from the death of his friend and protégé Michael Jackson. “We gotta get into the 21st century you know,” Jones said. “ “Print and all that stuff is over, we gotta remember that. The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Post Intelligencer. The Miami Herald. They’re over the same way as the record business. We have got to get into this century.” While Jones sees an online-only presence as the future of VIBE, the magazine’s Web site was already robust and, according to its CEO, profitable. Industry analysts say that without the burden of paying for the printed page, there might be a digital opportunity for VIBE if the brand’s name and archives could be bought without having to assume the company’s debt.

Sure, Jones’ idea of getting into the 21st century is pretty solid, but I wonder what sort of business models he’ll come up with to pay a staff to assist with that transition (particualrly if he’s forced to assume Vibe Media Group’s debt). It would be an awful shame if the economics of the situation resulted in the brand going the Blender route and turning the site into a single-writer blog. Meanwhile, yesterday closed out with rumors of layoffs at Vibe‘s former sister title Spin, which, sigh. [Ebony/Jet; HT Gawker]