Essence is 100% Black-owned again. The news broke yesterday when Essence Ventures an independent Black-owned company founded by Sundial Brands and Richelieu Dennis announced they will acquire Essence Communications from Time Inc. In a statement Dennis said “We remain committed to leveraging our resources to provide opportunities for other culturally-rooted entrepreneurs and businesses that further our culture and create economic opportunities for our communities… our focus here will be on ensuring that Essence reaches its full potential via heightened capabilities, technology, products and touch points that super-serve the interests of Black women locally and globally.”
It is with great joy that we announced that Essence is under new ownership and is now an independent African-American-owned company. Thank you for being in our corner over the last 47 years. We know that we work for you and nothing makes us happier. ❤️ https://t.co/q2BGN0pxNF pic.twitter.com/CbLQlpK9Qz
— ESSENCE (@Essence) January 4, 2018
Current Essence President Michelle Ebanks will remain in her job at the company and join Essence Ventures’ board of directors. The media company’s all-Black female executive team, including Ebanks, will have an equity stake in Essence Ventures. In a statement released Ebanks gave her thoughts on the acquisition “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.”
Forty-nine percent of the magazine was sold to Time Inc. in 2000, and the remaining 51 percent was sold to the media company five years later. This will mark the first time in nearly two decades, Essence magazine is fully black-owned publication. Essence is now one of the only Black-owned media outlets the African-American community has.
Since its founding in 1970, Essence has been a hallmark for women’s empowerment and a cultural beacon of pride and celebration of the diverse images and lifestyles of Black women. Today, Essence reaches a global audience of more than 16 million across its various platforms encompassing its signature print magazine, digital, video, social platforms and television specials.
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