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Suzanne Boyd Turned Down Role at Parent Company

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NEW YORK ( -- Suzanne Boyd, the editor in chief of Essence Communications Partners' shuttered multicultural fashion magazine Suede, quietly left the company this week after turning down an editor-at-large position at corporate parent Time Inc.
'Suede' magazine ends with the April issue; editor Suzanne Boyd has declined another Time Inc. position and has left the company.

"We're clearly disappointed," said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence. "She's such an amazingly talented journalist."

Ms. Boyd likely became the magazine world's most renowned Canadian import since Bonnie Fuller when Essence lured Ms. Boyd from the top slot at Toronto-based fashion magazine Flare last year to edit the then-untitled fashion offshoot of Essence.

But despite heavy hype and reams of favorable press, Suede was shuttered last month after just four issues. (The April 2005 issue was its last.) Insiders said that Ms. Boyd's flamboyant and exuberant meld of street culture and runway couture proved at odds with Essence's need to publish a magazine with more mass-market appeal, one that could ultimately hit circulation targets of around half a million.

Essence continues to mull ways to make Suede work, insiders said. But it's clear that a relaunched Suede, should it ever occur, would be a significantly different magazine than Ms. Boyd's.

Ms. Ebanks and other company insiders said they did not know Ms. Boyd's current plans. Ms. Boyd's office voice mail directed callers to Essence's public-relations department, and other efforts to reach her were unsuccessful.

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