As far as print and digital media goes, ESSENCE has existed since 1970 as a staple publication for Black women, and for the first time in more than a decade, the company is once again under Black ownership. Previously held by TIME Inc, Essence Ventures LLC, an independent Black-owned company which focuses on merging content, community and commerce announces their acquisition of the magazine.
The current president of ESSENCE, Michelle Ebanks, will continue to lead the company and join the board of directors. The all black women executive team of ESSENCE will each have an equity stake in the company.
“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,” said Ebanks.
With Essence Ventures, ESSENCE will begin focusing on expansion with digital businesses via distribution partnerships, compelling original content and targeted client-first strategies. ESSENCE will also expand internationally, with the publication, digital properties, and live events in global markets to celebrate the excellence and aspirations of black women everywhere.
Essence Ventures began in 2017, founded by entrepreneur and founder of recently sold beauty brand Shea Moisture.
“The strategic vision and leadership that Michelle has provided to ESSENCE Over the years has been exemplary, and we are thrilled to work with her and her talented team to provide the necessary resources and support to continue to grow the engagement and influence of the ESSENCE brand and transform this business” said Dennis.
Currently, ESSENCE Reaches a global audience of more than 16 million people across various platforms including the original print magazine, digital, video and social platforms, live events and television specials including the Black Women In Hollywood Awards on OWN and the annual ESSENCE Festival which attrracts more than 450,000 attendees each year.