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Vibe CEO Makes a (Forced?) Exit

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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T.G.I.FIRE DAY Gertler

The other shoe has dropped at Vibe—but did it fall or was it pushed?

Eric Gertler, the hip-hop magazine's CEO, is leaving the company; according to sources, he plans to start a new digital media venture. Gertler and his partner, Ari Horowitz, acquired Vibe last year, having already snatched up BlackBook. But Horowitz stepped down as president in March, a move sources say was prompted by pressure from the Wicks Group, the private equity group backing them.

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Horowitz, who said his own departure had only to do with finding "the best use of my time," describes Gertler's transition as being similarly motivated. "Our model is to find these things, turn them around, and then go find another one. Eric's doing what we all think makes sense here. We still have an equity interest in the business."

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