With a knack for breaking news, award-winning journalist Yesha (pronounced I-esha) Callahan has seamlessly transitioned from a corporate HR career, to being one of the most sought-after online news media mavens. In 2012, Yesha received her big break as a politics and comedy writer for BET’s former late-night talk show Don’t Sleep, created by The Daily Show creator Madeleine Smithberg, making her one of the first Black women to write for a cable network late night talk show. Although the show was short lived, it was an episode on Chicago gun violence, written by Yesha, that was heralded and subsequently received a nomination for an NAACP Image Award.
Shortly after the talk show ended, Yesha landed a position with the Black news website The Root in 2014. It was under her tutelage, that the site propelled itself from a meager 2-4 million unique page views a month, to its largest month ever in May 2018, with over 11 million unique page views. At The Root, Yesha not only cultivated her snark and a great eye for news, but she also was key in hiring and editing a slew of influential writers, who are now paving their own way in the world of online news media.
In the summer of 2018, Yesha joined the staff of Essence, the number one destination for Black women when it comes to the world of beauty and fashion. At Essence, Yesha is responsible for cultivating its news, politics and culture section, as well as managing a group of writers.
Whether it’s being the first to report on stories like Boko Haram, missing teenage girls in Washington, D.C., speaking to victims of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Va., or using her humor to talk about the crazy political world we live in, Yesha has been able to grasp people’s attention with her writing and personality.
Currently living in the Los Angeles area, Yesha is not only juggling her full-time position at Essence, but is also working on various television projects and writing a book. Most recently, she contributed to CRUSH: Writers Reflect on Love, Longing, and the Lasting Power of Their First Celebrity Crush, and her essay received rave reviews from Kirkus Reviews. As an avid basketball (Big East, baby!), speed skating and ice skating fan, she’s learned to avoid injuries by avoiding her favorite sports.