Times are changing. After 16 years in print, VIBE Magazine, the biggest urban music magazine has ceased publication. Founded in 1993 by Quincy Jones, the magazine covered the lifestyle and culture of hip hop and r&b.
This year through March, VIBE's ad pages fell 41.7 percent to 107, per the Media Week Monitor. Circ has been hard-hit, too; total paid and verified was down 8.6 percent for the second half of 2008, blunted in part by a 280 percent increase in verified copies. In the same period, paid subs fell 19.6 percent while single-copy sales fell 10.8 percent. (Media Week)
With advertisers looking elsewhere to present their messages, VIBE had to make cut backs to their work force. On March 1st staffers were asked to work four days per week, and have their salaries slashed 10 to 15 percent, according to a Vibe spokesperson.
What does this transformation mean for the content that still has to be covered? What will emerge as the online entity of VIBE Magazine? It seems as though RealTalkNY and World Star Hip Hop have effectively capitalized on the changing media forms, by covering news faster, while presenting content in various forms. Does this mean that every niche topic created within traditional media must now enter the online arena. It seems so. It appears as though the longstanding phrase, "change before you have to," rings true once again.