News Publications

Founder of SheaMoisture, Richelieu Dennis, Acquires Essence From Time Inc.

Essence Communications Inc., the 48-year-old mutliplatform brand that owns Essence magazine and the annual Essence Festival, has gone back to black (ownership), having been acquired by Essence Ventures LLC, an independent African-American-owned company, Essence Ventures announced in a press release.

As reported earlier by Journal-isms for The Root, the Essence brand was not part of the historic, nearly $3 billion sale of Time Inc. to the Meredith Corp. in November 2017.

The brand was looking for another buyer and has apparently found one with Essence Ventures, which was founded and is chaired by Liberian-American Richelieu Dennis, who also is founder of SheaMoisture (in November, Unilever acquired the parent company for SheaMoisture, Sundial Brands).

“[W]e are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves, and offer new opportunities for the women leading the business to also be partners in the business,” said Dennis of the Essence brand acquisition.

Essence President Michelle Ebanks will continue at the helm of the company and will join its board of directors; she will also have an equity stake in the business.

“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. “In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.”

Ebanks is referring to the fact that Essence’s executive team consists entirely of black women.

The release states further that Essence will focus on expanding its digital businesses and continue to “plant its rich content” in more global markets (the Essence Festival launched a Durban, South Africa, festival in 2016).

Essence currently reaches an audience of more than 16 million across its various platforms, including its print magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; and live events, such as the annual Essence Festival, a 22-year-old cultural celebration that attracted more than 450,000 attendees to New Orleans last summer.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

News Publications

Unpaid Salaries Row: ThisDay publisher, Obaigbena, orders dismissal of 13 journalists

The management of THISDAY Newspapers on Wednesday took a decision to dismiss 13 employees who issued a strike notice to the publication on Tuesday, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

A top management staff within the company told PREMIUM TIMES that Nduka Obaigbena, Chairman of Leaders & Company Limited, which runs THISDAY Newspaper titles and Arise TV Network, wrote in an internal memo that the 13 journalists attached to its bureau in Abuja should be paid due salaries, but should be compelled to pay all outstanding debts they owed the company before their contracts are terminated.

“Please work out what each of them is owed including pensions, net off all debt to the company and terminate all the appointments with immediate effect,” the source quoted Mr. Obaigbena as saying in an internal memo addressed to the company’s acting head of human resources, Emmanuel Efeni. “This company has policies and will not be run in the village square.”

The sacked workers had in the Tuesday correspondence appealed to the paper’s management to clear backlog of salaries, a situation they said had left them unable to “meet our obligations both to our families and other responsibilities.”

Citing, amongst other concerns, “an abysmal disregard” of their contribution by the company’s management, the distressed workers warned the company of their resolve to embark on a week strike if their demands fell through.

“Should the management fail to pay us by Friday, June 10, 2016, we will have no option than to embark on a one-week warning strike from Sunday June 12, 2016 until June 19, 2016,” they wrote. “Please, note that an indefinite strike will ensue at the expiration of the warning strike.”

In the notice, which was collectively-signed by Tobi Soniyi, Olawale Ajimotokan, Patrick Ugeh, Senator Iroegbu, James Emejo, Omololu Ogunmade, Paul Obi, Ndubusi Francis, Dele Ogbodo, Damilola Oyedele, Chineme Okafor, Godwin Omoigui and Onyebuchi Ezigbo, the workers said, “For several years, we have sacrificed everything – emotionally, physically and materially – to ensure the continued survival of THISDAY.”

But in his memo, our sources said, Mr. Obaigbena said the reporters “canvassed” for adverts for the newspaper which were not paid for, saying the nonpayment had contributed to the more than N1 billion the paper is being owed in revenues.

News Publications

Black News Site TheGrio Bought My Billionaire TV Producer

A popular black news site TheGrio has been bought by a billionaire television producer.

Entertainment Studios Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Byron Allen announced the acquiring of the New York-based digital news platform yesterday (Jun 15).

“We are excited to have TheGrio join Byron Allen’s ever-expanding Entertainment Studios media empire,” the news site’s co-founder and executive editor David Wilson said.

“Byron shares our vision of growing TheGrio into the leading video content creator and distribution platform for African-Americans. We look forward to developing the next iteration of TheGrio, and the fact that it will remain 100 percent African-American owned is very significant.”

On his new assets, Byron said: “David Wilson and his founding partner Dan Woolsey have done an incredible job these past seven years building TheGrio, and we are one thousand percent committed to continue expanding this digital news community’s reach across all global media platforms, including our broadcast television syndication programs, cable television networks, and motion picture division.”

He added: “We plan on investing heavily in digital publishing, and TheGrio has an excellent management team, making it the perfect asset to start our portfolio of online publishing.”

The news comes the same week Ebony magazine announced its own acquisition by a black-owned, Texas-based private equity firm, the Clear View group.

News Publications

Voice newspaper wins ‘best media’ award

Britain’s longest-running black publication picks up prestigious accolade at African Enterprise Awards
Written by Gordon Gilmour

THE VOICE newspaper has been named best media house of the year at an awards ceremony celebrating African businesses.

The African Enterprise Awards took place on Saturday (Nov 22) to recognise excellence in African entrepreneurship, and The Voice scooped up one of the most coveted gongs.

Set up in 1982, the publication is Britain’s best-selling newspaper for the African and Caribbean community.

It beat contenders including Africa Channel, OHTV, IC Publications and VOX Africa.

George Ruddock, acting managing director at The Voice reflected on the achievement. He said: “We are obviously pleased to be chosen as the Media House of The Year, beating off top-level nominees.

“We are a newspaper which has certainly set out in the last year to focus heavily on Africa because we know it is the largest demographic [out of The Voice readership] here in the UK.

“[Africa] has some of the most impressive, emerging economies in the world and we realise that the focus on Africa, its culture, its music and what it offers the UK is very important and we will continue to focus on the continents and its diaspora through our pages.”

Washington Kapapiro, chairman of the Association for African Owned Enterprises said: “The awards represent a highly valued symbol of achievement; a coveted possession of the business people, professionals, academics, companies and community leaders who receive an award.”

The inaugural event was held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, in Holborn, central London, and welcomed a wealth of accomplished nominees.

The winners in each respective category were decided upon by an independent panel of judges such as leading financial journalist Gail Mwamba and Debbie Thomas, head of Africa Services Group at Deloitte.

Following the Brixton riots, The Voice was founded by Jamaican-born accountant, Val McCalla, who was awarded a grant from the Greater London Council, now the Greater London Authority (GLA), to fund his business venture.

Over its three-decade-plus reign as “Britain’s Best Black Newspaper”, The Voice has served the black community by giving them a voice where other mainstream newspapers have failed.

It has over the years been a thorn in the side of the establishment, campaigning on numerous issues and championing the causes of black people nationwide.

Ruddock discussed how the readership has changed over the years. “It has certainly improved, it has grown,” he said.

“We have taken on a number of issues to do with Africa this year, for instance, it is a hundred years since the emergence of modern Africa, the scramble for Africa.

“We have focused on that this year, as well as other issues such as the growth of Afrobeats which is one of the most popular music genres around.

“So I think everything points to the fact that Africa is on the rise, and we hope to satisfy the readership which is also growing in that area, starting with more focus groups.”

The black African population in Britain has doubled from 0.8 percent to 1.7 percent, or from 484,783 to 989,628 nominally, according to the 2011 census.

Between 2001 and 2011, those who identified as Black Caribbean has stabilised at 1.1 per cent, increasing nominally by only 29,204.
And those who identify as Black Other increased from 0.2 per cent to 0.5 percent, with a total population of 28,437.


Small Business of the Year- Renaissance Personne

Young Business Leader of the Year – Ashish Thakkar – Mara Group

African Journalist of the Year- Yvonne Ndege – Al-jazeera

Media House of the Year – The Voice

African Restaurant of the Year – Shaka Zulu

African Academic of the Year – Dr. Thandika Mkandawire – London School of Economics

African Charity of the Year – Africa Justice Foundation

African Personality of the Year – Eddie Kadi – Comedian

Community Champion of the Year – Barbara Kasumu – Elevation Networks

“Out of Africa” Company of the Year – Eco Bank

African Financier of the Year – Homestrings

Business Executive of the Year – Tony Ofori – Bank of America
Merrill Lynch

Exporter of the Year – Western Union

Company of the Year – SAB Miller

“Friend of Africa” Award – Africa Research Institute

“Lifetime of Enterprise” Award – Lord Sheikh

African Business Woman of the Year – Elsie Owusu OBE

African Businessman of the Year – Douglas Chikohora – Cluff
Africa Associates


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Opportunities/Jobs Publications

Nubia Online 12 Month Internship Writing Programme


Help save the Black Heritage Today magazine


It’s difficult to remember when this Black History month publication wasn’t around. It seems as though it’s been around for ever. Actually the truth is it started 10 years ago this year!

And in those ten years, it has been the nation’s pivotal point to find out what is going on in your area for Black history month, along with uplifting features about people of African descent who have overcome despite their circumstance, not to mention people who are breaking or have ‘broken through’ the glass ceiling. And what about how it’s brought to the forefront some of the controversial historical facts that have been left out of Britain’s history books? Who says we have no role models – it’s all here in Black Heritage Today magazine!


Its author is Barbara Campbell, writer, publisher and entrepreneur. But with this product it has always been about the community rather than a ‘get rich’ scheme. Now with advertisers falling away due to budget cut there is a real threat that this magazine may not survive. If we are to keep the Black history month bible (which comes out only once a year in October). then the community has to react. We’ve got to buy, simple as that.


Let’s demonstrate what we can do together just because it’s something we care about.


With no outside funding, Barbara Campbell has selflessly given to a great deal to our community since the production of Black Heritage Today in 2003.


It’s time we came together as one and supported this project that highlights achievement, events and all that is great about us.


Can we do one of two things: pre-order a copy via: -the mag has to go to print in September – or send this email to all your networks, or both.


Many, many thanks

Simon Wooley

Barbara Campbell speaks on the matter

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International News News Publications

Former Essence Magazine Editor Was Fired Over Clashes About Portrayal of Black Women



AFRICANGLOBE – Many were shocked when news hit that Essence editor-in-chief Constance White was leaving her post at the helm of the magazine after less than two years in the position. It was widely reported that White’s departure was of her own volition, but a new interview with Richard Prince’s Journal-isms reveals that she was fired.

In her own words, White explains that her termination was the [result] of several disagreements with Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Martha Nelson about how Black women should be represented by the monthly.

She told Journal-isms: “Essence, the nation’s leading magazine for Black women, was originally Black-owned but has not fared well under Time Inc. ownership, White maintained. “Nelson vetoed such pieces as a look at African-American art and culture, and ‘I was not able to make the creative hires that needed to be made.’’

‘Disposable’ Editors?

She elaborated by email, “When was the last time you saw Essence in the community advocating for or talking with Black women? […] No more T-shirts with a male employee’s face on it being distributed at the [Essence] Festival.”

[…] “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,” she said, referring to Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications. “It became an untenable situation.”

“This is a magazine where the central DNA was laid down by Gordon Parks,” she said, referring to the famed African-American photographer who helped found Essence and was its editorial director from 1970 to 1973. White intimated that her efforts to maintain Parks’ standards had been rebuffed.

“How is it that from 2000, when Susan [L. Taylor, longtime editor] left — she was pushed out — we have had about five editors, including two acting editors, yet Essence continues to decline? So where’s the problem? And the editors are the Black women. ‘They are disposable. Let’s keep changing them.’

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International News Opportunities/Jobs Publications

New African Woman seeking Freelance Writers


ARE YOU A JOURNALIST ( a good one) looking for freelance work? We are looking at expanding our contributors network and we are especially looking to welcoming freelancers in NIGERIA, GHANA, KENYA, SOUTH AFRICA, JAMAICA, & THE USA.

Kindly write to  with a brief bio ( NO CVs pls) and at least THREE examples of your published work.


The Promota Magazine seeking African students for interviews

promota magazine

Publications UK Uncategorized

C.Hub issue 2 sale

Entry Ticket

C.Hub magazine is a creative magazine that understands the unique stories being told through creativity. It is the first and only creative magazine in the world. It is quarterly published in the Uk and has a world wide distribution. The largest sort after Black/creative magazine. With Eventbrite, you can now be rest assured that your favourite magazine will reach you on time.


Available to UK addresses only. To subscribe from outside the UK email for a quote and shipping arrangement.