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Donya Blaze

Mikki Taylor on Her 30 Years at Essence


When Mikki Taylor first started working for Essence in the early 80s, there weren’t nearly as many images of black women in the media as there are today. In our Media Beat interview, the fashion and beauty maven credited longtime EIC Susan Taylor for instilling staffers with the mag’s mission early on.

“I just remember her saying to me, ‘We come to this magazine to contribute,’ and it was something that she instilled in me that day that I walk with to this day,” Taylor recalled. “In fact, when I got the job, I was ready to go on a mission. It became more than a job from the moment I walked in the doors and began serving black women.”

Watch the full video to find out which Essence covers Taylor found most difficult to direct and what she has to say to the magazine’s critics.

Part 2: Essence‘s Mikki Taylor Takes on Casual Fridays
Part 3: Mikki Taylor Reveals Why She Left Essence

Stacy London: ‘Getting fired sucks. There’s nothing good about it.’

It might look like Stacy London‘s life is nothing but peaches and sunshine, but the stylist and co-host of TLC’s What Not to Wear has had her share of failures.

“I was actually fired when I was the senior fashion editor when I was at Mademoiselle,” she explained in our Media Beat interview. “In retrospect, I can say it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. At the time, I was furious. I thought that I had done a really great job, a really strong job while I was there. And one of the things that was really hard was that I sort of had to reconfigure how to identify myself. I’d associated myself really with my name on that masthead for so long that it took a second for me to figure out what’s next. It actually took about a year.”

The most important thing she learned? That a forced “vacation” can ultimately lead to a personal (and career) breakthrough.

You can also view this video on YouTube.

Part 1: Stacy London: ‘It’s not just about the clothes. It’s about the psychology behind them’
Part 2: What Not to Wear’s Stacy London Takes Your Fashion Questions

Want a Job at Essence? Be Curious.

What’s the most important thing Essence editor-in-chief Constance C.R. White looks for in job candidates? An open mind.

“One of the things that will make you successful at Essence is to have a vast curiosity and openness, number one,” she said in the final installment of our Media Beat interview. “Number two, you have to have a love and a passion for Black women and their lives and an understanding of that, an understanding and appreciation for Black women’s struggles and issues and challenges, as well as an appreciation for Black women’s triumphs and successes.”

She also gave some advice for those who are struggling to find well-paying work in hard times: “Stick with building your skills, and experiences, and your network of contacts, and eventually the money will come.”

Part 1: Essence EIC: We Are ‘Absolutely’ Looking for New Writers

Part 2: Constance White: ‘Essence has always had a diverse staff’

This video can also be viewed on YouTube.

One Day Only! Save on Courses in November

What’s the one thing many employers say they look for in new hires? New media skills. But you need to know more than just blogging and Tweeting, people. The key to staying ahead is to be able to optimize your company’s content through search and viral marketing to bring in the largest number of eyeballs possible.

If SEO makes your head spin, you’re in luck. Today only, you can save 25 percent off’s Understanding Search and Online Marketing course.  In this popular six-week class, you’ll learn how to master Google Analytics, organize your blog to maximize traffic and build a marketing plan through social networks. (Plus, it’s taught by Gracey Newman, a veritable social media and marketing whiz.)

And the 25 percent savings is good for any November online or in-person course, workshop, or seminar if you sign up TODAY.

See the full list of courses.

Tina Brown: Working Women Have to ‘Seize the Asylum’ from Men

(L to R): Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media; Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills; Kim Brink, Executive Director, Advertising and Sales Promotion, Cadillac; Tina Brown, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Beast; Donna Speciale, President of Investment and Activation, MediaVest USA; Debora Spar, president of Barnard College

What’s the one thing women need to do to be taken seriously by men in the workplace?

“We just have to seize the asylum,” Daily Beast founder and editor-in-chief Tina Brown said at Women@NBCU’s annual Power of the Purse breakfast held at Cipriani’s in New York this morning. “These corporate structures are so rigid and self-affirming and stuck in their ways. I’m still shocked there’s no women running a [TV] network. It’s pathetic how few women are in the top spots.”

Pat Mitchell, the panel’s moderator and president and CEO of The Paley Center for Media agreed. “Waiting to be asked is not a strategy,” she said.

Both women appeared on a panel entitled “Women in Power: Marketing to the Educated Consumer.” To see more photos from the event and watch a video from the discussion, visit our sister blog FishbowlNY.

Trust Us: You Don’t Want That Job



These are tough times right now. And if you’ve been laid off for months (still stings, I know), even that administrative assistant job can start to look good. Being an errand boy/receptionist/busy-work troll has to be more fulfilling than sitting on the couch eating into your savings, right? Wrong.

In this hilarious, dead-on list, Punk Rock HR outlines ten factors to consider when desperation has you selling your soul for any old paycheck. Our favorites:

6. You don’t really like the brand/product/service. Why would you want to help that company make money?

7. The office interior is ugly. They haven’t invested in new chairs since 1997. The cubicles are metal and beige. If they can’t upgrade the interior every century, what does this say about the company?

A lot of folks are restarting their careers at lower positions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a gig that’s both fulfilling and satisfying. If you need help getting there, think about attending mediabistro’s Career Circus on August 4th. You’ll find out where the jobs are, develop a career plan and engage with media peers and leaders to help you find a job that will make you happy (or at least one where they won’t keep taking your stapler).