Cori Murray is the entertainment director for Essence. She is responsible for assigning and editing the celebrity cover stories and conceptualizing the magazine’s “Culture” section. Ms. Murray contributes to Essence’s Black Women in Music and Black Women in Hollywood planning committees. She represents the magazine as a cultural critic for several media outlets, including NBC’s Today, MSNBC, CNN, BET, The New York Daily News, FOX 5-TV’s Good Day New York, PIX11 Morning News, Associated Press, Billboard Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, E! Online, American Urban Radio Networks and many more. Cori has also served as a judge for The Black Film Awards and the BET Awards. She’s a regular moderator for the opening and closing night ceremonies at the Urban World Film Festival. Before joining Essence as arts and entertainment editor in 2002, Ms. Murray served as the coordinating editor of Essence’s first teen magazine, Essence Girl—an idea she pitched to the editor-in-chief—and as an associate editor for the health and features team. Prior to joining Essence, she also worked at Scholastic Inc. and PR Newswire. Cori earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism from Hampton University. She lives in Brooklyn with her daughter.