Vanessa K. Bush, award-winning journalist, editor and author, has been named Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE, it was announced by Martha Nelson, Editor-in-Chief, Time Inc. Her appointment is effective immediately. As Editor-in-Chief, Bush will serve as the brand’s editorial leader and oversee the magazine’s content and vision.
Bush recently introduced ESSENCE’s #HeIsNotASuspect social media campaign aimed at reducing racial profiling of young African American men. She has spearheaded numerous editorial franchises including “Guns Down”, ESSENCE’s multi-part series addressing gun violence in our communities and “Where Smart Starts”, a year-long initiative around education. During her tenure, ESSENCE launched a new Twitter program, #ESSENCEDebates, and Essence.comintroduced the innovative Beauty Matchmaker tool. In addition, under her leadership, the 2013 ESSENCE Festival’s ESSENCE Empowerment Experience daytime programming enjoyed record-breaking attendance; bringing ESSENCE content to life around the pillars of family, health, relationships, beauty, careers, personal empowerment, activism, and more.
She first joined ESSENCE more than a decade ago as Beauty and Fashion Features Editor, where she directed all style and beauty sections. In 2003, Bush was named Lifestyle Editor, responsible for coverage including food, home, parenting and lifestyle. Additionally, Bush was a member of the editorial features team, writing and editing numerous impactful stories – such as Thin Line Between Love and Hate on teen dating violence and Fat Chances chronicling childhood obesity.
“Vanessa’s more than 10 years of experience as an editorial leader at ESSENCE will ensure continued success for the preeminent African-American women’s media brand,” said Ms. Nelson. “She has the full support of Time Inc. to execute on her vision to honor this loyal and cherished audience.”