VIBE Gets New Owners

VIBE magazine was acquired yesterday (July 6) by The Wicks Group of Companies, L.L.C., a New York-based private equity firm.

Although terms of the deal weren't disclosed, it was revealed that former VIBE music editor Danyel Smith was named editor-in-chief.

"I have always been a strong supporter and believer in the VIBE brand, and I am thrilled to rejoin as editor-in-chief," said Smith, who joined the magazine in 1993. "I look forward to strengthening our editorial traditions and our overall music, fashion, culture and style coverage on behalf of VIBE readers."

With a circulation of about 850,000, VIBE reaches more than seven million readers per month.

The magazine, which covers urban music and

lifestyle, includes various brand extension platforms such as VIBE Vixen, VIBE Online, VIBE On Demand, VIBE on Film and MVibe.

The VIBE brand also extends into additional product and distribution channels, which include the VIBE CD and DVD series and television programming.

In addition to Smith, Eric Gertler joins VIBE as chief executive officer.

Ari Horowitz will serve as president, while Len Burnett continues as group publisher.

The acquisition marks the beginning of a planned extension of the VIBE brand into multiple media platforms and distribution channels, while strengthening its position among its base of young consumers.

"The power of VIBE is its appeal to the diverse, trendsetting young style makers who enjoy and are passionate about urban music, fashion and

culture," said Gertler, who also serves as a principal of Keith Glen Media Corp. and CEO of Blackbook Media Corp. "We think there are tremendous growth and value-creation opportunities to leverage the brand across multiple media platforms and we are excited to build upon the great relationship that VIBE has with its community."

Gertler's fellow Keith Glen Media Corp. principal Horowitz believes VIBE will be "one of the great brands of the 21st century" as he voiced his

excitement over the brand's expansion.

"We are very excited about this acquisition and the talent that we have assembled to help the business reach its potential, added Daniel Black,

a partner of the Wicks Group. "VIBE has all of the hallmarks of an outstanding media property, and this transaction creates a strong platform from which to address its growth potential."