SpinMedia Buys Vibe, but With 'No Plans' for Print Edition

Reunites Vibe With Spin, in Digital Form at Least

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Online publisher SpinMedia has acquired Vibe magazine with plans to operate it as a digital property and without the print edition, the company said today. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal, first reported by All Things D, brings Vibe and Spin back together, in website form at least. Spin magazine and Vibe magazine both once belonged to Vibe/Spin Media until a series of ownership changes that delivered Spin to BuzzMedia last year. BuzzMedia, which owns or sells ads for sites including Stereogum and Idolator, shuttered Spin's print edition and later changed the company's name to SpinMedia.

Vibe was founded in 1992 by Time Warner and Quincy Jones. Time Inc. sold Vibe in 1996; the buyers sold Vibe again 10 years later. It went out of print in 2009, but returned within months under yet another set of owners, investors led by InterMedia Partners. Last summer the magazine said it would embrace electronic dance music along with its usual hip-hop and pop culture coverage.

Vibe's website will do better as part of a larger portfolio of websites, according to Ari Horowitz, CEO of Vibe Media. "It's about scale, it's about really good brands and it's about being able to leverage infrastructure," he said. "That's the way you win in the digital media business."

"You've got to be a buyer or a seller in this environment," he added. "You have to look at which one makes more sense. My job was to come in here and turn it digital."

Mr. Horowitz referred questions about the print edition to Vibe's new owners, who said they would look at ways to use print down the road.

"SpinMedia is a digitally native media company that aims to serve content to audiences in the formats and ways that they most like to consume media," a spokesman for SpinMedia said in an email, singling our mobile in particular.

"With Vibe, the intent is to continue to deliver a high quality digital product and we will investigate print options at a later date," he added. "Currently, however, there are no plans for print."

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