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NABJ mourns the loss of Ken Smikle of Target Market News

Friday, September 14, 2018   (0 Comments)
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NABJ mourns the loss of Ken Smikle of Target Market News


 
Washington, D.C. (September 14, 2018) -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of Ken Smikle, a journalist and leading authority on marketing and media aimed at African-American audiences.
 
The Harlem native died Wednesday of congestive heart failure in Chicago, where he retired.
 
"NABJ extends heartfelt sympathies to Ken Smikle's loved ones and friends. He had a noteworthy media career as a brilliant journalist, publisher and entrepreneur. Ken made a strategic move parlaying his media skills to build a leading marketing business focused on black consumers. His business and analysis had a resounding impact on the media landscape," said NABJ President Sarah Glover.
 
Smikle was founder and president of Target Market News, a publication that covers advertising and marketing directed towards black consumers. The publication is known for The Buying Power of Black America, an annual report published for nearly two decades. The report analyzes the products and services black consumers use most often.
 
"Smikle was visionary and understood the power and influence of black audiences. His life's work was revolutionary and ahead of its time," added Glover.
 
Before founding Target Market News, Smikle was a journalist and editor at several publications, including Essence and Black Enterprise.
 
"Ken was always there when NABJ Chicago called, most recently serving this year as chair of our Media Advocacy Committee. He was compassionate. He was brilliant. He was eloquent. He was strategic. And he and his wife Renee Ferguson were Chicago's version of journalism royalty.  He loved us, and we loved him. He will be dearly, dearly missed," said NABJ-Chicago Chapter President Maudlyne Ihejirika.
 
"Ken's smile lit up each room he entered," Kathy Chaney, past president of NABJ-Chicago Chapter wrote. "His dedication to journalism and marketing, especially on behalf of the Black community, is why Ken was a treasure to us."
 
Smikle is survived by his wife, Renee Ferguson, a former NBC Chicago investigative reporter, and son, Jason.
 
In a Facebook post, Ferguson wrote, "Said goodbye tonight to the love of my life Ken Smikle. We held hands through all of life's ups and downs. Not sure how to get through life without his beautiful hand to hold."
 

The celebration of life for Ken Smikle takes place Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018 at 10 a.m. at Chicago Temple First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington, Chicago, Illinois 60602. Repast to follow at the church.


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About the National Association of Black Journalists:
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.

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