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Posts Tagged ‘The Source’

New Writers Welcome at The Source

When The Source first launched back in the 80s, it set itself apart from other fan magazines by digging deeper into hip-hop culture. Today, the mag stays true to that, albeit with a broader audience. The freelancer-friendly pub has wider demographics and covers much more of the industry now that YouTube stars are turning rap hits into country covers. And, lucky for you, 60 percent of its content is written by freelancers.

Source veteran Kim Osorio has rejoined the pub as EIC and is committed to working with new and up-and-coming writers. In fact, she estimates that as much as 10-15 percent of the content each month comes from first-time freelancers. “It helps to have fresh ideas coming from people who aren’t in the day-to-day grind of hip-hop,” she said.

For more info, read How To Pitch: The Source. [subscription required]

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Vibe‘s New Owner: Revamped Mag Will Have Greater Online Focus, Broader Scope

burnett.jpgThe latest incarnation of revived hip-hop magazine Vibe may be debuting with a controversial cover model, Chris Brown, but its new owner’s plans for the pub seem pretty sound.

Today, mediabistro.com got a chance to pick the brain of Leonard Burnett, co-CEO and group publisher of Uptown Media Group, part of the group that purchased Vibe earlier this year and is working to reposition and relaunch it. In an interview with David Hirschman, Burnett explained where he thought Vibe had gone wrong in the past and laid out the new publisher’s plans for the future:

Vibe thrived off of urban fashion, music, and automotive — and then when you go into ’05, ’06, and ’07 [the advertising] just kept deteriorating. First it was a shift over to digital [for advertisers] and then when the dollars started to even back out, the dollars that you are counting on for the print side in certain categories just started to evaporate at a much faster rate than we were able to break new categories.

The book also didn’t lend itself [to these new categories]. [Vibe's] aesthetic perspective and editorial focus [originally spoke] to a very broad and important perspective of what urban music and culture meant (which really wasn’t just rap, but R&B, reggae, and gospel, and anything you can move and dance to — and even where the consumer was going with the blending of Jay-Z and Coldplay, and this sort of rap and alternative rock). We went from being the kind of Rolling Stone of urban culture to competing with The Source and XXL. These are great books, but…Rolling Stone is really the music and culture magazine that has stood the test of time — and when you look at the breadth of what they have with the core of it being rock ‘n roll, mixing the old with the new and the influx of urban, and the political scene, the fashion scene.

So now, from an editorial perspective, we are going back to an editorial discussion that was much broader than it was. It has a lot better visuals. We’re going back to great photography, which was always such a big component of the editorial product. The book will be much more visual and have a better quality of paper. The consumer should look up to VibeVibe is showing them something that they don’t know about, and give them something to aspire to. Not like Uptown, but something new and on the cutting edge.”

Read more of Burnett’s interview for more on Vibe‘s new digital product and the decision to hire a new editor.

Earlier: Vibe Relaunches With Maybe Not The Best Cover Celebrity

New Vibe Names New Editor-in-Chief

vibe.pngIt’s been two months since news of Vibe‘s closure broke, and the hip-hop magazine has been acquired by a new owner and is gearing up for the relaunch of the publication and its Web site, Vibe.com.

Today, the Vibe Lifestyle Network, which acquired the magazine and site earlier this month, announced the appointment of Jermaine Hall as editor-in-chief of both the print and Web sides of Vibe. Hall, who previously worked as editor-in-chief of King magazine and music editor at The Source, started his career at Vibe, where he served as webmaster from 1997 to 1999. He has been brought in to the role in order to bring a “consistent voice across all Vibe brands,” the magazine’s owner said.

“I’m excited to come back to Vibe and honored for the opportunity to bring the brand back to its much deserved and highly respected status among both consumers and advertisers,” Hall said in a statement. “I am also thrilled to be working with [former Vibe publisher and current part-owner] Len Burnett again and to be a part of the bigger team at The Vibe Lifestyle Network. I have no doubt we will create compelling and cutting edge content as we did back in the day.”

Earlier this month, the shuttered magazine was purchased by a consortium made up of private equity firm InterMedia Partners, Uptown Media Group and Blackrock Digital, who formed the Vibe Lifestyle Network. At the time, the new owner said Vibe.com would be relaunched immediately, but there doesn’t seem to be any updates since late June. Today, the company said the site would relaunch later this month, while the magazine will debut with a November issue and will go quarterly in 2010.

Earlier: Another Magazine Death: Vibe Reportedly Closing

Another Magazine Death: Vibe Reportedly Closing

vibe.pngJeff Bercovici at AOL’s DailyFinance is reporting that music magazine Vibe is ceasing publication.

Just last month, the magazine’s parent company, Vibe Media Group, announced the launch of spin-off The Most!, a “celebrity fashion, lifestyle, red-carpet moments, travel, and news” publication that was due to hit newsstands earlier this month. There’s no word on whether Vibe‘s shut down will affect that publication as well.

Publicists at the magazine were unavailable for comment, but we’ll keep you updated as the story progresses. If you have any information, leave it in the comments below or email us.

Vibe‘s closure leaves The Source as the one remaining one of the few remaining magazines covering hip hop and R&B, after Blender folded earlier this year. (A commenter kindly pointed out that Giant and XXL still cover the industry, and there might be others that we don’t know about.)

Update: The New York Times has word from Vibe‘s publicist that the magazine will close down operations today, although there is no word on how many people will be losing their jobs. And here is part of an internal memo sent by Vibe Media Group CEO Steve Aaron to staffers today: “It is with a heavy heart that I share some tough news, VMG is closing down effective today, June 30 due to lack of additional financial investments.” So, it looks like Vibe won’t be the only publication to go. If the whole media group is closing up shop, it looks like The Most! is dead, too.

Lastly, Ron Mwangaguhunga spoke to Vibe editor at large Rob Kenner for his blog The Corsair. Kenner revealed that the magazine had been working on a Michael Jackson tribute prior to its demise. How much more depressing can it get? The magazine’s own death prevented it from celebrating the death of the legend who was so influential to the music that Vibe covered.