UPTOWN and VIBE properties have merged withÂ BlackBook Media business and The Access Network Company. The merger of these premier assets is part of their media and technology consolidation strategy and follows an investment from Ron Burkleâ€™s and Earvin â€œMagicâ€ Johnsonâ€™sÂ 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 Networksâ€™ AccessGeo local content management and distribution technology platform.
â€œWe’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,â€ said Earvin â€œMagicâ€ Johnson. â€œWe’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.â€
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.
â€œVibe and Uptown, combined with BlackBook, align strong brands that consumers can access online, via mobile applications, and in print.â€ noted Horowitz. â€œThe Access Network technology platform provides the ability to reach this large and desirable audience through hyper-local digital applications for Vibe, Uptown, and our VLN partners.â€
â€œThe merger presents an exciting opportunity for Vibe and Uptown to provide advertisers a much needed voice across multicultural and multiracial platforms,â€ added Burnett.