February 21, 2019 / 7:53 AM

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SpinMedia Lays Off 19, Kills Off Print Edition of Vibe Magazine



This truly is a sign of the times. Vibe magazine will no longer be available in its print edition. 

According to CapitalSpin Media Group eliminated 19 positions on Tuesday (Sept. 9). CEO Stephen Blackwell told the site that the "reduction in force" affected about 14 percent of the company's 127 staff members, mostly in the video, photo, and sales departments. 

Blackwell also mentioned that some of the layoffs were due to the decision to end the print edition of Vibe. Spin acquired the hip-hop magazine last year. 

"If we're not going to be putting together print pages anymore and designing print, we really don't need those design platforms. We really don't need the capacity to negotiate with printers," Blackwell said. 

The move to can Vibe's print edition doesn't really come as a surprise, however. The company had previously shut down the print edition of SPIN after acquiring it in 2012. 

Blackwell says he was brought in as CEO to help Spin Media focus its brands 100 percent on digital.  

"When I look at what was going on here prior to my tenure, I think that some of the resources...if we're directing resources toward print, that intrinsically means that we're directing resources away from digital. I'm here to commit to directing all of our resources toward the digital side of Vibe," he said. 

He says by eliminating job positions that have essentially become obsolete, the company is able to free up money that could be used to hire more people to produce compelling content and increase traffic digitally. 

"A lot of the people here are obsessed with their traffic. That's something that we want to promote. That's something that we really care about, and that's how we make our brand grow," Blackwell said. "If we had a photo editor position that wasn't necessarily affecting our growth, and we were obviously paying for that position to be there, can we use that money a little bit better? What we realized is that, yeah, we could use that money a little bit better to affect growth, affect social value, and affect our position in market." 

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