Telepictures Productions to Take Essence Across Platforms

Paige Albiniak, Broadcasting & Cable, April 21, 2008

Warner Bros.’ Telepictures Productions is joining forces with Time-owned Essence magazine to expand the already-popular African-American brand across a number of platforms, including TV and the Internet.

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According to Angela Burt-Murray, Essence’s editor in chief, the magazine already reaches 40% of black women. Daytime television also often targets a female, urban demographic, but both Telepictures and Essence believe the group remains underserved, Hackner said.

First up for the relaunch is Essence’s Web site, the new version of which will be unveiled late this summer. “The new Essence.com will create the ideal launching pad for Essence’s and Telepictures’ broader collaborative efforts on innovative television programming uniquely suited for our audience,” said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications, in a statement.

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The site’s advertising will be handled largely by Essence, with a contribution from Warner Bros.’ digital-media-sales team.

Warner Bros. already had some success launching TV shows off online ventures with TMZ—a joint venture between Time Warner-owned companies Telepictures and AOL.com—now an established player in the entertainment magazine space. And last fall, Warner Bros.’ created MomLogic.com, another Web site the company hopes to turn into a TV show.

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