Essence magazine has let go its editor-in-chief, Vanessa K. De Luca, as part of a restructuring plan.
Journal-isms revealed Patrik Henry Bass, director of editorial projects, is also out and their positions will not be replaced. Both longtime staffers, De Luca worked for the brand for 15 years before ascending to lead the magazine in 2013. Bass, known for organizing the Essence Festival, has worked for the magazine for 18 years. The festival, which takes place in New Orleans over July 4th weekend, has blossomed into one of the hottest festivals of the summer. Mainstage acts have included Beyonce, Prince, and Stevie Wonder with Janet Jackson and Mary J. Blige among this year's headliners. Last year, the festival was the backdrop for the movie Girls Trip which earned more than $100 million at the box office.
Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications, said in a statement: “As we forge our new path as an independent company, ESSENCE remains committed to its authentic vision — highlighting the beauty, power and magic of Black women.”
Ebanks added, “To ensure that we have the infrastructure necessary to support this path forward, we are realigning our editorial team structure to include more content integration and audience development across all platforms, including digital, social, video, live experiences and the magazine.”
Digital content director,Yolanda Sangweni and Jacklyn Monk, the executive editor, will run magazine operations in the interim.
In January, Time Inc. announced Essence and it’s music festival was sold to Richelieu Dennis, the former CEO and founder of Sundial Brands.