Rodale Sells Backpacker to Active Interest Media

Skip Zimbalist to Acquire Enthusiast Title for $14 Million

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III's Active Interest Media has acquired Backpacker magazine from Rodale in a deal valued around $14 million, according to sources close to the transaction.
Ad pages at Backbacker declined 2.1% in the first quarter after an essentially flat 2006, according to PIB.
Ad pages at Backbacker declined 2.1% in the first quarter after an essentially flat 2006, according to PIB.

Neither Mr. Zimbalist nor Rodale could be reached for comment early this morning, but the transaction gives Mr. Zimbalist another niche title to go with his portfolio of enthusiast magazines, which includes Yoga Journal, Vegetarian Times, Yachts and Southwest Art. For Rodale, the sale gives the company a chance to act on its desire for investing in high-growth areas such as digital and international.

Ad pages at Backbacker declined 2.1% in the first quarter after an essentially flat 2006, according to the Publishers Information Bureau. It has a guaranteed paid circulation of 340,000.

Editor follows title
The deal, which was arranged through Allen & Co., is also sending Jonathan Dorn, Backpacker's editor in chief, to Active Interest Media to continue editing the title there. Mr. Dorn drew notice at the 2006 National Magazine Awards, where Backpacker won for Best Section and was a finalist for general excellence in its circulation category -- Mr. Dorn's rambling acceptance speech for Best Section was one of the standout unscripted moments of the evening.

The New York Post reported earlier this week that a transaction was in the works.
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