Emerge, a monthly news and features magazine geared toward upscale African-American readers, has suspended publication for the rest of 2000. Vanguarde Media, which publishes Emerge, also eliminated most of the magazine's staff in Washington.
The publisher said last week that Emerge was not closing permanently but instead was going on hiatus until early 2001. At that time, Vanguarde Media said, it plans to explore new editorial strategies and relaunch the magazine as a broader lifestyle publication that targets the same customer base.
“Emerge represented a hallmark in African-American publishing,” said Keith Clinkscales, CEO of Vanguarde Media Inc., New York. “However, a new editorial strategy gives us a unique opportunity to reach a broader readership and improve our business prospects.”
Emerge has been published since 1990 and recently registered a circulation of about 160,000, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The numbers are respectable for a specialty publication but are low for magazines targeting a general-interest audience. Ebony and Essence, the two largest magazines geared toward black readers, report circulations of 1.7 million and 1 million, respectively.
VMI still publishes two consumer magazines — Honey, which targets young, urban women, and Heart & Soul, a healthy-lifestyle publication for black women. The company also publishes a trade magazine called Impact: Radio, Record & Retail, and BET Weekend, a Sunday newspaper insert. VMI's principal investors include BET Holdings Inc. and the Provender Capital Group LLC.
While VMI did not release any details about its plans to relaunch the magazine, it claimed the new magazine would use a more inviting approach to the “issues, personalities and trends” that are important to the African-American community.