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Essence was one of the few magazines to record an increase in circulation for the first six months of the year, according to figures released Monday by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The monthly targeting African American women recorded increases in both subscriptions and single-copy sales at a time when the recession caused newsstand sales to plummet elsewhere.

Overall, Essence circulation rose by 4 percent, according to figures it supplied to the bureau.

Another winner was People en Español, which saw an increase in subscriptions, though it sustained a drop in newsstand sales.

Dana Baxter, a spokeswoman for Essence, which is owned by Time Inc., told Journal-isms, “The January issue (commemorating the Obama inaugural) was a top seller — which definitely contributed to the 1st half gains.”

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