The process has begun at Time Inc to unload non core brands and business divisions. Kicking things off will be Essence as Time Inc is looking to unload a majority stake in the magazine focused on African American women’s lifestyle and beauty according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The magazine which also puts on the annual Essence Festival was founded by Edward Lewis, Clarence O. Smith, Cecil Hollingsworth and Jonathan Blount in 1970. In 2000 Time Inc under then CEO Don Logan acquired a 49% stake in Essence and five years later acquired the remaining 51% taking full ownership. The deal sparked some controversy within Essence’s leadership as well as its readers because of concerns about the publication being controlled by a mostly white owned media conglomerate lead by old white men. When Time Inc decided a couple months ago that it would no long pursue a plan to sell itself, the company said it would instead sell off non core brands and business units to help it save $100 million and tighten its focus on its digital media efforts. Time Inc CEO Rich Battista says the move is designed to unlock the value in the brand by bringing in a partner. Essence Fest reported record attendance this year with 470,000 attendees. That accounted for 20,000 more than the previous year.
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