Vibe to launch new tabloid

Vibe Media Group will launch a new print and online brand, The Most, in June. debuts June 1, to be followed by a print tabloid of the same name on June 16. The Most, circulation 300,000, will be distributed nationwide on a newsstand-only model. Both the Web site and print magazine are targeted to the same young, urban demographic as Vibe magazine, but The Most is more focused on celebrity culture, entertainment and gossip than the music and lifestyle content of Vibe.

“We think launching The Most in this market is a very smart, very savvy move because there’s a hole in the marketplace,” explained Danyel Smith, editor in chief of Vibe and president and editorial director of Vibe Media Group. “There is not a celebrity and lifestyle magazine that focuses on the urban community with the quality and beauty and excellence we have, and we know there’s an audience out there that is hungry for it.”

“This is a very complementary brand to Vibe,” added Vibe publisher Edgar Hernandez. “What we’ve seen traditionally is that celebrity-themed magazines draw a female audience, but everybody — whether through social networking or TV or magazines — just wants to consume as much information as they can about these celebrities on a regular basis. I can’t pinpoint a certain age or gender that wants this type of entertainment; it’s definitely a 21 year-old and older audience, but I would say there’s no really sound demographic that we can point to.”

The Most magazine is taking a grassroots approach to self-promotion, using its Twitter account (603 followers) and the Twitter, Facebook and MySpace power of big sister Vibe to build excitement for the launch. A Facebook account for The Most and a mobile program are in the works. The second issue of The Most is slated for January 2010.

Vibe Media Group tested the tabloid concept of The Most with the January 2008 and 2009 issues of Vibe; they were some of the magazine’s best-selling issues of the past two years.

Vibe’s readership is split fairly evenly between men and women, and median reader age is around 29, per MRI. The flagship magazine had a total paid and verified circulation 817,825, supported largely by subscriptions, as of December 31. Its numbers have dropped slightly since 2007, when total circulation hit 879,072. At the beginning of the year, Vibe announced plans to cut its guaranteed rate base 25% in July to 600,000 copies.

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