Essence Magazine Names New Top Editor
By Tanzina Vega
After being without an editor in chief since February, Essence magazine has announced a new leader, its fifth in 13 years. Vanessa K. Bush will assume the top job immediately.
Ms. Bush had been serving as acting managing editor for the magazine since Constance C. R. White, the previous editor in chief, was dismissed in February.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Martha Nelson, the editor in chief of Time Inc., which owns the magazine, said, “Vanessa’s more than 10 years of experience as an editorial leader at Essence will ensure continued success for the pre-eminent African-American women’s media brand.” Ms. Nelson added that Ms. Bush would “have the full support of Time Inc. to execute on her vision to honor this loyal and cherished audience.”
Ms. Bush was not available for comment on her appointment. In an interview on the Web site the Grio, she discussed her vision for Essence, including an increased focus on social media and the magazine’s tablet edition.
While Essence’s print circulation and readership is strong, the constant changes in its editorial leadership have prompted many readers, bloggers and media critics to question the magazine’s relevancy and identity. It has also faced increasing competition from other media outlets aimed at African-Americans.