In an effort to expand its presence in the multicultural publishing market, Time Inc. recently purchased the 51% of Essence Communications that it did not already own. Hispanics currently account for only 2.8% of the 50 million names in Time Inc.'s database, which includes subscriber lists from Time Inc. magazines, as well as Time Warner continuity clubs. African Americans account for about the same number of names.
Essence Communications publishes the 34 year old title Essence, targeting mostly African-American women. Last September, Essence (circ. 1.05 million) launched Suede, a new magazine targeting multi-cultural, trendsetting women. Suede, published 10 times a year, targets cosmopolitan women, including Latinas, and has a circulation of 250,000 (50% subscriber-50% newsstand). Although the magazine is described as a multicultural publication, readership is expected to be 65% black and 35% “other,” which includes Latina, Asian and White women. Suede is geared toward an audience that is accustomed to a convergence of racial perspectives.
As advertisers, particularly in the fashion, cosmetics, and beauty ad categories (e.g. Sara Lee Corp., Maidenform Inc., and The Warnaco Group) increase advertising targeting multicultural women, publishers are launching new vehicles to reach that audience. Time Inc.'s buy out of Essence Communications must be looked at within this context. Essence Communications will now be managed by Nora McAnnif, who also oversees Time Inc.'s Growth Markets Group, a group of high growth publications including People en español.