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There’s a new boss in town: Essence Magazine leaves Time Inc., becomes Black-owned again

By: Erica M. Ponder

Essence Magazine continues to make major boss moves in the new year as they acquire new ownership!

Thanks to Essence Ventures, an independent company owned and founded by Richelieu Dennis (founder of Sundial Brands) last year, Essence Communications has departed from Time Inc., making it 100 percent black-owned for the first time in close to 50 years!

According to the New York Times, Dennis wanted to buy the company in order to “serve and empower women of color.”

“This will give Essence a platform and a voice to serve its consumers, which are women of color… They have allowed us to invest into the business so that we can bring in the infrastructure and resources,” Dennis said.

Essence Communications will be led by an executive team consisting of all black women, according to NBC News. The team seems to be very excited for what lies ahead.


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

In a statement on their webpage, the company expressed the following:

We wish you could have been in the room to see the excitement and pride on the Essence Teams’ faces as we gave them the good news. The new journey on which we are embarking will be fueled not only by the passion we have (and have always had) for Black women, but also that Black women will be at the helm as we move forward. Michelle Ebanks will serve as the president of ESSENCE Communications.

Dennis told the New York Times he was raised by a single mother who read Essence Magazine, and his four daughters are avid readers as well. We can safely bet the women in his family are extremely proud of this new venture!

Cheers to ownership, success, and servicing close to 16 million women of color all over the world as Essence continues to do what they do best– put black women first!

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