Ken Smikle – NABJ-CC Media Advocacy Chairman

Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News, is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on marketing, advertising and media directed to the African-American consumer market.

Target Market News covers business activities in advertising, marketing and media targeted to black consumers. The company publishes a daily news bulletin through its Web site,

The company also publishes a 19-year-old annual report, “The Buying Power of Black America,” which analyzes how African- American consumers spend billions of dollars in hundreds of categories of products and services.

Since 1997 Target Market News has hosted the Marketing to African Americans with Excellence [MAAX] Summit which presents the most up-to-date research and trend data available on black consumers. For the past ten years, it has also hosted the MAAX Awards.

His 40-year career in journalism and publishing includes award-winning work as a publisher and editor for a number of periodicals, including Black Enterprise magazine, the New York Amsterdam News and The National Leader newspapers.

Ken also has been a co-founder of trade associations for African-American professionals in media, marketing and advertising. He established the African-American Marketing and Media Association in 1990 which brought together for the first time Black-owned media companies, ad agencies and public relation firms. In 2005 he helped establish the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies (ABAA).

Ken has served as is a member of a number of industry organizations, including the African-American Advisory Council of the Nielsen Company, and the Marketing and Media Project of Rainbow PUSH. In 2013 Ken was named “Outstanding Entrepreneur” by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Black Alumni Association.

Ken presently resides in Chicago with his wife, Renee Ferguson, a former award-winning investigative reporter at NBC5 Chicago. They have one son, Jason Smikle, who is co-founder of fNograph, a research and technology company.

Photos of Ken working with the 2003 NABJ-CC board members:

2003 NABJ-CC Board Members working with former President Vernon Jarrett.


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