Vibe‘s new ownership regime doesn’t seem to be working out too well. Ari Horowitz, who, with partner Eric Gertler, acquired the urban-music title last July, is no longer involved in running it. Horowitz, who was Vibe‘s president, claims he decided his time would be better spent focusing on BlackBook, which he and Gertler also snapped up last year, as well as lining up other new properties to buy.
Vibe sources, however, say it had more to do with pressure from the Wicks Group, the private equity group backing them. “Checks for contributors were being bounced and people weren’t getting paid,” says one insider. “All the big Web plans and promises they were making to the Wicks Group never happened. Looks like Eric tossed over Ari to save his butt.”