ESSENCE NAMES BUSH: Essence has found a successor for Constance C.R. White. Vanessa K. Bush, a longtime editor at the magazine who has been acting editor in chief since February, was formally assigned the top job Wednesday. White was let go on the first day of New York Fashion Week in February after two years on the job — beauty editor Corynne L. Corbett and creative director Greg Monfries left at the same time. White had a long career, with stints at WWD, Talk magazine and as a style consultant at eBay before she was appointed in 2011 eic of Essence, a Time Inc. magazine aimed at black women. In March, White told the blogger Richard Prince she clashed with Time Inc. editor in chief Martha Nelson. “I had a certain point of view about black women being central to this magazine. The boss didn’t agree with me, and the president didn’t agree with me,” White said. Michelle Ebanks is the president of Essence Communications, which was bought by Time Inc. in 2005.
By February, Essence was one of Time’s most troubled women’s interest magazines — advertising pages declined nearly 16 percent last year, according to Media Industry Newsletter. On the other hand, ad pages in Ebony, another magazine targeting black women, were up 23 percent, though the magazine still lags behind Essence in total paging, 705 to 1,063. Circulation in the second half was up 5.1 percent thanks to the introduction of digital replicas, though newsstand dropped about 3 percent. Bush’s appointment was effective immediately. “She has the full support of Time Inc. to execute on her vision to honor this loyal and cherished audience,” Nelson said.
This story first appeared in the August 1, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.