I had a surprise visit this morning from Danyelliott (Danyel Smith and Elliott Wilson) and discussed what really happened when Vibe Magazine shut its doors. It’s still a painful and emotional topic for Danyel, who was the editor-in-chief at the time, and she stated that she still has the last issue in a box at home, but looking at it is too difficult.
Did you see that coming, that Vibe was going out of business?
“The magazine business overall has been in such a state, frankly since I came back 3 years ago. I always had it at the front of my mind. Was it a complete surprise to me that day… no I don’t think it was for any of my fantastic staff.”
There were already some cutbacks though?
“We had already gone down to 4 days a week … we were all making sacrifices because we really wanted the brand to live. We were all strategizing and working really hard and I’m just really really brokenhearted. There’ll be a bounceback, there’s no question about that.”
She also described the “vibe” at the Christina Milian/The Dream cover shoot where the couple were completely in love, “They were all up on each other, huggy huggy kissy kissy,” AND shooting the Lil Wayne/Kobe Bryant spread.
I probed in to the severance package situation, which I heard was disappointing at first, but Danyel said there was someone who was working very hard to make it better. I know I would love to see that 16th Anniversary issue, since I was supposed to be in it…
As for Danyel’s future plans, I’m sure she has tons of options but Elliott, can you let her take the summer off to be a housewife? Thanks sir!