Has the digital space made magazine publishing obsolete? Yesterday we learned that VIBE magazine has shut down.  Its fall is mostly due to the economic recession that cut the advertising budgets of companies that normally advertised with magazines.  But clearly, not positioning the magazine as a powerhouse on line contributed to its demise.
Obama graces the cover of VIBEMusic legend, Quincy Jones, though no longer the owner of VIBE magazine indicated to EbonyJet.com that he was going to fight to get the magazine back and stated “I’m’a take it on-line because print and all that stuff is over.” Jones went on to tell EboneyJet.com that all publications must figure out how to live on line.  “We gotta get into the 21st century.  Print and all that stuff is over, we gotta remember that.  The Chicago Tribune, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, The Miami Herald, they’re over the same way as the record business. We have got to get into this century.”  Ironically, the parent company of EboneyJet.com is having it’s own publishing problems as well.

On the heals of VIBE magazines shutting it’s doors, Johnson Publishing Co. is in the hot seat also.  According to Crain Communications Inc, a major publishing conglomerate, sharp drops in advertising and circulation is causing major problems for Ebony magazine and it’s Chairman and CEO Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of founder John Johnson.

Michael Jackson Ebony CoverIn an email statement to Crain, Ms Rice suggested she is “seeking to leverage and expand the brand through partnerships. Last fall, Ebony and Internet-video giant YouTube, a unit of Google Inc., announced the creation of EbonyJet Television. Content includes celebrity interviews and footage of Ebony’s recent photo shoot with actress Jada Pinkett Smith. In January, Johnson announced a partnership with an African-American film studio and forthcoming documentaries on subjects including Mr. Obama and black comedians”.

Whatever the outcome for these two magazines we must keep in mind that to remain competitive your business must figure out a way to live on-line, use the Internet and work the digital space.  How are you and your company positioning yourself on-line?