Vibe to Merge with Access Network

NEW YORK--()--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 premier 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.

“Vibe and Uptown, combined with BlackBook, align strong brands that consumers can access online, via mobile applications, and in print.” noted Horowitz. “The 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.”

“The merger presents an exciting opportunity for Vibe and Uptown to provide advertisers a much needed voice across multicultural and multiracial platforms,” added Burnett.

About Vibe Holdings

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

About the Access Network:

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 our 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.

About BlackBook Media

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 our 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

Contacts

Squeakywheel Promotions
Jackie Saril, 914-393-7043
jackie@squeakywheelpromotions.com

Release Summary

Ron Burkle’s and Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s Yucaipa Johnson Fund and InterMedia Partners announced the merger of Vibe and Uptown businesses with BlackBook Media & The Access Network Company.

Contacts

Squeakywheel Promotions
Jackie Saril, 914-393-7043
jackie@squeakywheelpromotions.com