It’s been about a year since Vibe magazine was relaunched by Uptown Media and private equity firm InterMedia Partners, which acquired the ailing music title in June 2009 after it was shut down by its former owner, the Wicks Group. Today, as the October/November issue hits newsstands this week, the magazine is striking a balance between returning to its roots while expanding the brand across platforms.“When we assumed control of Vibe last year, one of our first priorities was to let everyone know that the brand is still strong and just as urgent to its consumers as ever,” Uptown Media co-CEO Len Burnett, who helped launch Vibe in the early 1990s, tells FOLIO:. “We knew we needed to bring back the luster the book had lost over the years—not just the look and style but the edit content as well. Vibe became very hip-hop centered. It didn’t differentiate itself from a lot of the competition.”Before Vibe shut down in June 2009, the magazine saw its first quarter advertising pages plummet 42 percent, and it planned to cut its guaranteed rate base by 25 percent that July to 600,000 copies and to drop frequency to 10 times per year. When Burnett and his team at Uptown took over, they immediately got to work reconfiguring the print model. They brought in a new design director who gave the magazine a new look, one that Burnett says is more cohesive with the Web site. Initially, the plan was to publish quarterly, but not long after relaunching, Vibe went bi-monthly and currently carries a 300,000 rate base—about half what it had pre-acquisition. The magazine increased its trim size to 9” x 10-3/4” (the same size as sister title Uptown) and upped its paper stock to 45-pound matte. “The paper is heavier and absorbs ink nicely,” says Burnett. “That’s one of the first things consumers notice now. Color really pops off the page.” Burnett says advertising dollars out of the gate were slimmer than anticipated. “A lot of advertisers had already planned their budgets, or were excited about the relaunch but wanted to take a ‘wait and see’ approach,” he says. “We fought hard. Since then, many advertisers have carved out a few dollars for us.” Burnett declined to disclose specific sales figures but says the magazine has won back old advertisers as well as signed a few new ones, including Lexus, BMW and Mini Cooper. He says the magazine now is meeting its goal of about 40 ads per issue.Digital at the ForefrontWhen Uptown and InterMedia acquired Vibe, the groups said Vibe.com would be the “centerpiece of the new venture.” Since its relaunch, the site averages about 450,000 uniques per month. And the Vibe Lifestyle Network—which comprises partnerships with 12 to 15 publishers including AllHipHop.com, DJBooth.net as well as the recently relaunched Vibe Vixen site, to promote their sites under the Vibe banner and to leverage content and distribution—averages roughly 10 million uniques per month, or about double from the first quarter this year.Again, without disclosing specific figures, Burnett says Vibe.com and the Vibe Lifestyle Network has “played out well” and has benefitted nicely from integrated sales programs. The Vibe brand also is expanding with the launch of a magazine app with digital vendor Zinio later this fall, Burnett says, and an iPad app during the first quarter of 2011.In addition, Vibe is launching a DJ-mixer app next month that allows users to become their own DJ. “When you do these apps, you have to consider what’s going to make consumers come back to them on a regular basis,” says Burnett. “It should be cool, but not just cool for the moment. You need to come up with apps that have a purpose beyond just reading the magazine.”Into 2011, Vibe is looking at a digital radio business called Vibe Live as well as forays into TV and brand licensing. “It was heart-wrenching watching Vibe sputter like it did,” Burnett says. “It was a dream for me, for our investors, to expand the brand. Through its ups and downs, this is the brand that our consumer is still attached to, and finds important across any platform.”
Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHOA! Apartment Complex, 7 Retail Stores & Bank Proposed At Woburn St. & Lowell St. IntersectionIn “Government”SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 6 Things That Happened At This Month’s Selectmen’s MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 10 Things That Happened At Last Week’s MeetingIn “Government” WILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things that happened at last week’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting:#1) NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS: Selectmen authorized a regulatory agreement for three affordable units at Spruce Farm, the new 55-and-over development built on Andover Street. The units will be deed restricted and affordable in perpetuity. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development will monitor the affordable units.#2) SNOW FORT FEST: Selectmen unanimously approved the request of Wilmington Library Director Tina Stewart for the library to use the Swain Green for a “Snow Fort Fest” program on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, from 2pm to 3:30pm.#3) TRAININGS FOR TOWN BOARDS & COMMITTEES: Wilmington’s new Town Counsel – KP Law – offers the town two free trainings annually per its contract. The town has selected 3-hour trainings on the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Law. Members of town boards and committees, as well as any town staff members who work with them, will be invited to each training once dates and times are set.#4) PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST: Wilmington resident Rob Fasulo made a formal public records request to the Town Clerk’s Office regarding the standstill agreement for the Olin site and Executive Session minutes surrounding it. Hull said the Town would respond to the request by the deadline. He did note, however, that the Executive Session minutes will not be provided until Selectmen approve them to be released.#5) WILMINGTON GROUP HOMES MAY GET UPGRADES: Vinfen Corporation owns at least two group homes in Wilmington — 6 Fairmeadow Road and 55 Houghton Road. The company is seeking approval to issue debt through the MassDevelopment to acquire property, renovate existing property, purchase technology hardware and software, pay for soft costs for new projects and make improvements to their various properties, including those in Wilmington. Wilmington was offered the opportunity to provide input at a public hearing, but did not find out about the hearing until after the fact.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags 10 Phones Share your voice Comments Rumors Sprint T-Mobile T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger may have hit another government snag. Josh Miller/CNET T-Mobile and Sprint have hit another government roadblock in their quest to merge. A group of 10 state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, filed a multistate lawsuit Monday to stop the pending $26 billion deal. The antitrust lawsuit claims that the merger would “deprive consumers of the benefits of competition and drive up prices for cellphone services.” The suit was filed in New York federal court in coordination with Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Connecticut, Virginia, and Wisconsin, the New York attorney general’s office announced. “The T-Mobile and Sprint merger would not only cause irreparable harm to mobile subscribers nationwide by cutting access to affordable, reliable wireless service for millions of Americans, but would particularly affect lower-income and minority communities here in New York and in urban areas across the country,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement. “That’s why we are going to court to stop this merger and protect our consumers, because this is exactly the sort of consumer-harming, job-killing megamerger our antitrust laws were designed to prevent.” T-Mobile and Sprint did not immediately respond to a CNET request for comment. In a press conference, James said that by opposing the deal the attorneys general are “standing up for consumers, standing up for economic development and standing up innovation and standing up for lower prices.” James did, however, say that her office has reached out to the Department of Justice, T-Mobile and Sprint and that “negotiations are ongoing.” Reuters first reported that the 10 attorneys general were looking to block the deal. Since being announced last year, T-Mobile’s push to merge with Sprint has been met with strong government pushback over concerns it would harm competition. In February, nine Senate Democrats signed a letter addressed to Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai urging the agency to block the deal, writing that the merger is “likely to raise prices for consumers, harm workers, stifle competition, exacerbate the digital divide, and undermine innovation.” Several presidential candidates signed off on the letter, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Cory Booker of New Jersey. House Democrats, led by freshman congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, followed suit shortly thereafter by sending a similar letter to Pai and Department of Justice head Makan Delrahim outlining their opposition to the deal, stressing how it would “disproportionately hurt lower-income people and communities of color.” That letter was signed by 36 other representatives. In May Pai and the FCC gave a thumbs up to the deal with the chairman touting the deal’s potential improvements for 5G network deployment and increasing coverage in rural America. The DOJ has yet to rule, though the staff of the department has recommended that the agency sue to stop the deal. James said the litigation will continue even if the DOJ approves the merger. “DOJ and FCC have broad standards,” James told reporters. “We are viewing this primarily through the lens of competition, prices, innovation… as a result of our review, based upon the law, we’ve come to a determination that it is a violation of antitrust laws.” T-Mobile and Sprint have a deadline of July 29 to complete their merger. Update, 10 a.m. PT: Adds New York attorney general comment.Update, 10:26 a.m. PT: The New York attorney general’s office clarified that Connecticut, not Nevada, had participated in the lawsuit. Update, 1:02 p.m. PT: Adds additional comment from the New York attorney general.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina during her interaction with Gulf News in Abu Dhabi. – Photo courtesy: Gulf NewsPrime minister Sheikh Hasina has wondered why India’s parliament passed ‘Indian Citizenship Amendment Bill’ meant to give citizenship to minorities that faced “religious persecution” in neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh.The Bangladesh premier expressed her views in an interview with Gulf News in the UAE capital on Tuesday.“Why [us] this bill…I don’t understand,” she was quoted to have said. “Is it for election purpose?” Sheikh Hasina reportedly asked with a smile.Gulf News quoted her as saying that she never felt that the bill meant to blame Bangladesh for religious persecution of minorities in the country.“I don’t think so. There is no such [religious persecution] in Bangladesh. Some incidents have happened. But we took immediate action,” the premier was quoted to have said.She said religious extremism and terrorism are a global problem. “It is not in Bangladesh alone.”Sheikh Hasina reportedly said her understanding was that people in India are also not happy with the bill. “I think they [India] should not do anything that create tension.”Referring to her actions against Indian insurgents, who tried to operate from Bangladesh, she said, “They should consider all these factors as a neighbouring country.”