Marking Its 50th Anniversary in 2020, Essence Announces Premium Redesign of Its Signature Magazine

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Essence Communications, the number one media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, is unveiling a premium redesign of its signature magazine, beginning with the ESSENCE September Global Fashion issue featuring tennis superstar, activist, entrepreneur, fashion designer and mother Serena Williams on the cover (available August 16). Reinforcing the brands mission to serve Black women deeply, the magazine redesign will enrich the consumption and engagement experience for readers, including a slate of immersive new content and digital integration that more expansively chronicle the depth and breadth of Black women and their influence on culture globally.

With the debut of an innovative and artistic aesthetic, compelling international perspectives and expanded original content in the September issue, ESSENCE is previewing an expanded issue format, which will offer up to 80 additional pages of content per issue. Starting with the January/February 2020 issue, the planned new format for the magazine will be an enhanced double-issue that will be distributed six times per year. In addition, ESSENCE will produce four special-edition/collectible newsstand-only book-a-zines throughout the year beginning in 2020.

As we approach our 50th anniversary as a brand, we are grateful that ESSENCE continues to thrive in a class of its own “ by tenure, by focus and by impact, said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications. ESSENCE stands the test of time because we have always responded to the diverse and evolving needs of the community of Black women we serve with the urgency, quality and understanding they deserve, and that remains our focus in everything we do “ to test, learn and grow with the community that grows with us. So, as with other parts of our business, we are making significant investments to innovate and elevate our magazine experience and further demonstrate our commitment to drive and reflect our culture, own our storytelling and direct our narrative to encompass the most inclusive, authentic and non-monolithic expression of who we are globally “ capturing and reflecting our beauty, our power and our influence across the Diaspora.

ESSENCE Chief Content and Creative Officer MoAna Luu added, ESSENCEs transition to six collectible double issues and four book-a-zines per year will enable the brand to deepen its content offerings not only in the magazine, but across our digital and social platforms and our live events. The redesigned magazine will also feature interactive pages that translate across digital platforms, extending the magazines exclusive cover stories and in-depth features to ESSENCE podcasts and video series for bonus content and experiences.

Newsstand pricing will be slated at $7.99 for the remainder of 2019 and $9.99 starting in 2020 for the enhanced double issues. The new magazine format will feature more pages of original editorial content per issue, accommodating a broad expansion of some of the magazines most popular features and reporting, as well as the addition of reimagined editorial sections (** denotes new sections or columns):

Fashion – ESSENCE Fashion is cutting-edge, cool and culturally inspired. Across every platform and continent, ESSENCE celebrates rituals, trends and magic that define Black womens style. **New columns: Fashion News, Shop The Closet, Masterclass, Real Fashion Confessionals and Accessories.

Beauty – ESSENCE Beauty holds a mirror up to Black womens stunning spectrum of skin tones, endless hair textures, and the powerful way in which she moves through the world. **New columns: Vanity Voyeur, Black Beauty Musings.

Culture – ESSENCE Culture provides a unique platform to spotlight the celebrities, culture makers and creators in arts and entertainment. The Culture section is newly expanded to include fine arts and explore the contributions of Black creatives from around the world. **Debuting The C List, a roundup of what ESSENCE editors are screening, reading and hearing for the month.

Views – From news to politics and other current events, ESSENCE Views takes an in-depth look at issues and trends that are important to Black women and that impact our community.

Wealth “ ESSENCE Wealth is the go-to destination for all things money, careers and business¦ offering serviceable content to help Black women sustainably level up their finances and succeed in their careers. **Introducing the Black Women In series¦which profiles female leaders across varied industries.

Body and Soul – ESSENCE Body and Soul helps Black women cultivate, nurture and heal the heart, mind and body…from inspiring Black love stories to timely features on health risks and remedies for Black women to mental health and self-care.

**Living “ ESSENCEs first-time, newly dedicated Living section covers Travel, Home, Food + Drink, Tech and Parties (recapping the top trending social events from around the world). Popular columns include ESSENCE Escapes, Cool Girls Guide, At Home With and ESSENCE Eats.

For the first time as of September, ESSENCE magazine will be more widely available internationally—including throughout London and the Caribbean, as well as South Africa, Nigeria, Jamaica, Turks & Caicos, Brazil, Bermuda and Germany.

About Essence Communications Inc.

Essence Communications is the number one media company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 24 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned company focused on merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.

Dana Baxter

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Sheila Harris

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