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Vibe, Uptown merged with BlackBook Media and The Access Network Co.
(January 6, 2011) Ron Burkle's and Earvin "Magic" Johnson's Yucaipa Johnson Fund and InterMedia Partners today announced that they have merged their Vibe and Uptown businesses with the BlackBook Media business and The Access Network Company.
The merger of these assets is part of their media and technology consolidation strategy and follows an investment from The Yucaipa Johnson Fund in January 2011 when it joined InterMedia Partners as the owners of Vibe Holdings, the entities' parent company.
The combined company will operate the Vibe, Uptown, and BlackBook media properties. These brands will serve as anchor properties for the Vibe Lifestyle Network (VLN) and BlackBook Media Network affiliates which serve over 18.5 million monthly visitors and will be complemented by Vibe magazine, Uptown magazine, and BlackBook magazine. The online and mobile properties across the network will leverage Access Networks' AccessGeo local content management and distribution technology platform.
"We're passionate believers in the future of technology-driven media companies and the ability to leverage online, mobile, print and local content through premier brands," commented Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "We're interested in consolidating great brands that reach a large and attractive audience -- specifically those which index well in the online and mobile arena. The technology we acquired as part of the Access Network will serve as a very important piece to enable us to reach consumers."
Magic Johnson, a partner at the Yucaipa Johnson Fund will continue to serve as Chairman of Vibe Holdings. The merged entity will operate under Vibe Media and Ari Horowitz will serve as CEO. Horowitz will also continue to serve as CEO of the Access Network. Len Burnett and Brett Wright will continue to serve Co-CEOs of the Vibe Lifestyle Network.
The merger marks one of the rare occasions when a media company principally targeting African-American consumers has acquired a general market media company. "The merger presents an exciting opportunity for Vibe and Uptown to provide advertisers a much needed voice across multicultural and multiracial platforms," said Burnett.
"Every media company wants to make greater use of technology," added Burnett "and every technology company wants to be more a part of media and this merger really allows us to bring that idea to fruition. This allows us to be at the forefront of hyper local technology that's gonna provide great benefit to consumers and increased benefit to advertisers to reach our consumers on that basis."
Vibe Holdings is the parent company of Vibe magazine, Vibe.com, VibeVixen.com, Vibe Lifestyle Network, Uptown magazine, UptownMagazine.com, UptownSocial and the iconic Soul Train entertainment franchise. Vibe Holdings is a vertical content and advertising network which represents over 25 websites, several publications, direct mail, TV shows and media platforms reaching over 19 million consumers per month. As the premier destination for urban entertainment and media, Vibe Holdings creates solutions for advertisers looking to engage consumers via music, entertainment, culture and lifestyle 18-54. www.vibelifestylenetwork.com
Access Network is a media and technology platform serving leading content publishers through providing the leading, turn-key, hyper-local content search and management platform. Publishers use the technology and content platform to create, configure, and distribute custom-branded, local online and mobile applications. Brands offering city guides on the Access Network include BlackBook Guides, Guides by Bravo (NBCU), Corcoran Guides, CitiHabitats Guides, Diddy's BlackBook, Maxim Guides, Jersey Shore Guides (MTV Networks), Front Desk Guides by Modern Luxury, Out Guides, The Daily Tar Heel's Guide to the University of North Carolina, The Famuan's Campus Guide to Florida A&M University, and over 50 additional local College City Guides. www.accessnetwork.com.
BlackBook Media celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2011 as a leading publisher in the progressive nightlife, fashion, and culture arena, with over 500,000 monthly readers. BlackBook delivers beauty, fashion, and entertainment guides through the BlackBook Guides mobile applications, online at BBook.com, at signature events & in BlackBook magazine. The BlackBook City Guides are the ultimate curated source to finding the best shops & boutiques, spas, restaurants, bars & clubs, and hotels and more in major worldwide cities. www.bbook.com
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