THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: Seventeen and its parent, Hearst Magazines, are joining the iPhone app rush. The teen title will allow users to check the availability of products in the magazine at stores near to them and reserve them. The app will be refreshed monthly and will include products chosen by the celebrity cover model. Actress Selena Gomez is on the September cover (there are actually three different covers featuring Gomez).
Seventeen may represent the first iPhone app from Hearst but it isn’t the only magazine with one. Over at Condé Nast, Lucky and reviews from Wired.com are available on the iPhone, while Condé Nast’s Web-only brands such as Style.com, Men.Style.com and Epicurious also have apps, and Concierge.com will launch one at the end of the month. Men’s Health and Women’s Health, published by Rodale, have iPhone apps, as does BlackBook magazine. Time Inc. has apps for People, CNNMoney, Sports Illustrated (Swimsuit app) and Golf. Meredith is slated to introduce apps for More and Parents this fall. — Amy Wicks
BACK FROM THE DEAD?: Music magazine Vibe appears to have been resuscitated. On Tuesday, Uptown Media and its backers, InterMedia Partners, were close to a deal to buy Vibe and relaunch the urban music title, which folded in June. The impending deal was first reported by Advertising Age and The Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by InterMedia, although it declined further comment. According to the Journal report, InterMedia plans to publish the title as a quarterly and reload the Web site, which could go live in a few weeks. Vibe would fit into InterMedia’s portfolio of media holdings, which include not only Uptown, a lifestyle magazine for the African-American elite, but music program “Soul Train.” And one of the group’s principals has deep roots at Vibe — Uptown’s founder and group publisher Len Burnett was one of the founders of the magazine. In 2006, Wicks Group purchased Vibe for a reported $35 million, and Burnett served as group publisher. Even then, according to former Vibe insiders, Burnett expressed an intent to buy Vibe. (Burnett did not return calls for comment by press time). In 2007, Burnett left Vibe to rejoin Uptown.
Vibe folded this summer after suffering from a loss of advertising revenue and operational mismanagement under Wicks Group. Though financial details have not been revealed, Vibe is saddled with debt, a large chunk of that from its subscriber file of more than 600,000. CapitalSource, which reportedly provided the financing to Wicks Group, had no comment on the deal, and Wicks Group could not be reached for comment by press time. — Stephanie D. Smith