Vibe Magazine ceases publication

It’s been a grim week for pop culture icons – and for a publication that chronicled many of them. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says the soul/hip hop magazine Vibe is calling it quits.

The home page of Vibe.com features a prominent tribute to Michael Jackson. Staffers at the New York-based magazine were preparing a tribute issue about the late King of Pop when they got the word that publication would end right away.

In a message to the Web site Gawker, Vibe editor Danyel Smith noted that the company was just shy of its 16th birthday. She called its demise a sad day for music and for hip hop in particular.

Quincy Jones - the same music producer who helped propel Michael Jackson to solo stardom – helped publisher Time Warner establish Vibe to cover urban music, culture, and politics the way Rolling Stone and other mags approached the world of rock.

For the better part of a decade Vibe rode high. But like other magazines it suffered from declining ad revenue and fragmenting readership. Three years ago it changed hands, and Vibe’s staff was working four-day weeks to save money when the ax fell.

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