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Keith Clinkscales  

President of KTC Ventures, a consulting entity specializing in media, marketing and cultural communications, and recently joined ESPN as Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Publishing.

Keith Clinkscales is the President of KTC Ventures is a consulting entity specializing in media, marketing and cultural communications, and recently joined ESPN as Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Publishing. Previously, Clinkscales founded Vanguarde Media, Inc. with a mission to give voice to the relevant issues, interests and concerns of today's urban audiences. Publisher of Heart & Soul, HONEY, impact! Weekly, and SAVOY magazines, VMI was a major media contender and a dominant force in defining the American urban marketplace, its publications reaching a combined rate base of over 1,000,000 readers. VMI provided news, trends and features on urban music, fashion, entertainment, politics and health before closing down in 2003 as a result of volatile advertising and capital markets.

Called the boy wonder of black magazine publishing? by The Washington Post, Clinkscales is a Harvard M.B.A. and was the first African American named as a president at Time, Inc., where he served as president and CEO of VIBE magazine. Clinkscales catapulted VIBE from a consumer music magazine with a circulation of less than 100,000 to a comprehensive, industry-standard urban lifestyle publication reaching 700,000 readers in under 6 years. Under Clinkscales' leadership, VIBE was the fastest growing publication to reach profitability in Time Warner history (it has since only been surpassed by Teen People and In Style). VIBE was also named one of AdWeek's, "Top 10 Magazines" and has been nominated for five National Magazine Awards.

Clinkscales lectures extensively at media and entertainment industry events, and to marketers who desire to tap into the power of urban culture. He offers guidance to corporations looking to grow market share by expanding into the urban marketplace and to those looking to understand the impact of urban culture on the ever-changing American media landscape. He credibly represents and speaks to corporations, focusing on the impact of urban-American lifestyles that transcend race, class and religion.

Clinkscales has an extensive history of successful media property conceptualization, evolution and management; a track record of effective brand extension and is a master at positioning media properties aimed at urban audiences. He entered the media arena by launching Urban Profile, a progenitor of the urban magazine genre, in 1988. By the time he graduated from Harvard Business School several years later, the circulation had increased to 75,000.

During his tenure at VIBE/SPIN Ventures, Clinkscales spearheaded the development of the VIBE Music Seminar, a profitable national music industry convention; VibeBiz, a magazine co-venture with Variety and BLAZE magazine, the most successful music magazine launch in publishing history. With his vision, Clinkscales was among the first in the publishing world to recognize the potential of the Internet to enhance the urban market, launching in 1994.

A magna cum laude graduate of Florida A&M University, Clinkscales received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and serves as Treasurer of the Apollo Theater Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also a member of PepsiCo's Multicultural Advisory Board and of Young Presidents' Organization. In 1999, Clinkscales was inducted into the prestigious American Advertising Federation (AAF) Advertising Hall of Achievement.


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