Some major changes are beginning to happen over at Essence Magazine under its new ownership. Essence which was part of Time Inc, was sold just before that company was absorbed by Meredith Corporation. New owner Richelieu Dennis opted to keep the company’s current leadership in place but with new owners comes some changes and the biggest change is the dismissal of editor in chief Vanessa DeLuca who served in the role for 5 years and Editorial Projects Director Patrik Henry Bass. The company said it will not be replacing Ms. DeLuca or Mr. Henry Bass. Long time company president Michelle Ebanks, said they will be elaborating more on the decision to eliminate the editor in chief role in the coming weeks. The company said for now Digital Content Director, Yolanda Sangweni, and Executive Editor, Jacklyn Monk, will oversee content and editorial operations. Essence has been through about 9 editors. Patrick Henry Bass has Outlasted 7 of them. It will be interesting to see what kind of structure Essence creates going forward and if there will be other departures. Or money is on yes as the company looks to grow its current audience and explore new revenue sources.
Perhaps Essence no longer being part of what was once the world’s biggest magazine publisher is also playing a role in what is probably part of a cost saving effort. The ESSENCE Festival is no doubt currently one of its top sources of revenue attracting close to half million attendees. Essence’s audience reach is definitely not paltry either. The brand reaches a global audience of more than 16 million across its various platforms anchored by its print magazine. Big changes were hinted at by Ms. Ebanks when the sale was announced back in January when she said:
This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms.
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