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From Rush & Molloy today:

Essence Magazine still plans to throw the mag's annual Music Festival in New Orleans next July. "We're sending someone down to check out the sites soon," producer Nicole Wright said Monday night at a party here to celebrate the mag joining the Time-Warner family. Time Inc. chief Ann Moore is thrilled to have the African-American staff on board.

"They're always so lively," she told us. "They can turn even an ordinary staff meeting into a revival meeting."

"And I really can't wait to see them dance at the Christmas party," Moore nearly added, before remembering she did away with Christmas parties.

Good thing, too.

Rush & Molloy [NYDN, low in column]