Essence Magazine Furloughs Staff With Pay Ending This Week

Essence Magazine Logo (Credit: Essence)

Essence magazine is furloughing some of its staffers and will only pay their salaries “throughout this week.”

In a statement posted on its website Tuesday, Sept. 29, Essence said it ordered the furloughs because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a loss in revenue following the cancellation of large-scale events like the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans.

“Six months into an unprecedented and continuing global pandemic, COVID-19 has had a broader and longer-lasting impact than anyone expected — and Essence Communications, Inc. has not been immune to it,” the outlet said in a statement. “The company informed impacted team members today, and while no furloughed employee will perform any work on behalf of ECI during this period, we will pay everyone impacted throughout this week and will cover their medical benefits premiums throughout the furlough.”

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The publication did not give specifics on how many employees are affected.

While Essence said it was able to secure a PPP loan, the ongoing crisis has forced the magazine to make cuts.

“While the business was able to prevent taking such measures during the initial onset of the pandemic via significant personal investments from ownership along with limited PPP funds, the prolonged situation and unforeseeable business now require us to take additional action to ensure the long-term sustainability of ECI,” the statement said.

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The magazine said the furloughs are not expected to last longer than six months.

“We are confident that the actions we are taking now will help ensure that Essence is here to thrive for another 50+ years as an independent Black-owned media business,” the publication said.

Read the full statement at