It’s turning out to be a big week for sweeping, personality-driven LA media moves. Just a few days after Arianna Huffington announced the sale of The Huffington Post to AOL, former Lakers great Magic Johnson has partnered with Ron Burkle to invest in Vibe Holdings LLC, the parent company of Vibe Magazine, Vibe.com and the TV show Soul Train.
Bloomberg was first yesterday with the unconfirmed news, made official this morning via the Wall Street Journal. The companies of Johnson and Burkle are making an undisclosed eight-figure investment in Vibe Holdings, to be used mainly to acquire other African-American targeted media properties:
The investment comes about a year after Mr. Johnson aborted efforts to acquire Jet and Ebony magazines… A spokeswoman for the investors declined to comment on what properties the company might pursue next, saying only that its partners will target “brand name assets that speak to various demos in the multicultural segment.”
Does this mean Magic will soon be hosting a revamped version of Soul Train? Although we wouldn’t put that past the new chairman, probably not. Vibe Holdings also owns luxury magazine publisher Uptown Media and features another existing media stakeholder, former cable-telecom exec Leo Hindery.