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Who is Len Burnett? Len Burnett, CEO and group publisher of the Uptown Media Group—as well as cofounder of Uptown magazine—will receive the Media Executive of the Year prize at the 2013 Marketing to African Americans With Excellence (MAAX) Awards. The ceremony, due to take place in Chicago on Nov. 22 during the 14th Annual MAAX Summit, “recognizes the contributions, innovations and exceptional performance of African American professionals in the fields of marketing, advertising, media, public relations and consumer research,” according to a press release.

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But who is Len Burnett, and why has a panel of Target Market News editors and writers and former MAAX Award recipients selected him to win Media Executive of the Year at this year’s ceremony? Len Burnett is a co-founder of Uptown, an upscale magazine for African Americans, and that’s just one line on his impressive resume. Born April 18, 1964 in Detroit, Burnett holds a B.A. from Florida A&M, and in 1987, he launched Urban Profile magazine. In the early ‘90s, he joined Quincy Jones and the team at Vibe magazine before it hit the stands, and in 2004, he founded Uptown Media. In 2013, Len Burnett made headlines for buying Uptown magazine back from Intermedia Vibe Holdings. “There was no falling out,” Burnett told the New York Post, speaking about the break from Intermedia Vibe. “They just wanted to put more emphasis on Vibe and the digital portion, and they gave us the opportunity to buy back Uptown.”

Len Burnett is married with two children, and in a 2009 Media Bistro profile, he cited golf as a “guilty pleasure” and Business as the first section of the New York Times he reaches for every Sunday. Len Burnett is the co-author of “Black is the New Green, Marketing to the Affluent African American,” and he’s been called a “pioneer in the urban media space.”

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Len Burnett is one of seven 2013 MAAX Award honorees, and in a press release, Target Market News president Ken Smikle praised the men and women tapped for the honor. “Their expertise place them in the vanguard of those who are shaping business practices and creating opportunities for both companies and consumers,” Smikle said. “We invite the entire industry to join us as we celebrate their unique accomplishments.”

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