Backpacker Promotes Two Senior Leaders

Active Interest Media’s Outdoor Group today announced promotions for two senior Backpacker employees. Matthew Bates, the magazine’s Design Director, becomes the Outdoor Group’s Creative Director, while Michael Byrne, Backpacker’s Western Sales Director, becomes the magazine’s National Sales Director.
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Boulder, CO: Active Interest Media’s Outdoor Group today announced promotions for two senior Backpacker employees. Matthew Bates, the magazine’s Design Director, becomes the Outdoor Group’s Creative Director, while Michael Byrne, Backpacker’s Western Sales Director, becomes the magazine’s National Sales Director. “We’re thrilled to put more responsibility in the hands of these two longtime members of the Backpacker family,” said group vice president Jonathan Dorn. “Both have distinguished themselves as strong thought leaders and creative managers over the five-plus years they’ve each been contributing to the brand.”

Bates joined Backpacker in 2003 and has overseen upgrades to the visual identity of the magazine and website that have helped these properties earn five National Magazine Awards, repeat citations from SPD, and numerous other editorial honors. Since Backpacker’s move to Boulder in 2007, he has also supervised redesigns of new magazine acquisitions and existing AIM properties in both consumer and trade markets. In his new role, he will be responsible for creative oversight of the six main titles in the Outdoor Group, which includes Climbing, Urban Climber, Peaks, SNEWS, Backpacker, and a group of properties under the National Park Trips brand. He will continue to be based in Boulder. “With AIM’s continued growth within the outdoor and travel space,” said Bates, “this is an exciting opportunity to broaden my portfolio. Whether we’re reinventing a trade show daily or building new iPad apps, every day brings fresh strategic and design challenges.”

Byrne joined Backpacker in 2006 and served several years as the magazine’s Midwest sales manager before taking over management of the entire Western territory in early 2010. In his new role, he will supervise the operations and development of the magazine’s sales staff, while also taking a lead role in Backpacker’s creation of new digital, event, and trade assets. “Mike is one of the most gifted audience advocates I’ve ever met,” said Kent Ebersole, Outdoor Group Publisher. “He has a unique ability to match the desires of our readers to the needs of our advertising partners—and vice versa—and it’s his ability to synthesize and communicate those opportunities that will make him so effective in growing Backpacker’s strong marketshare position.” Based in Chicago, Byrne said of his promotion, “It is motivational to be part of a brand where I feel a similar passion to that of the audience. With our committed and talented team, we intend to deliver our print, digital and events platforms to marketers seeking a vibrant audience.”

Backpacker, Climbing, and Urban Climber are the world’s leading publications for committed outdoor enthusiasts, with the most active subscribers in their competitive sets. SNEWS is widely recognized as the authoritative trade media brand for the outdoor, fitness, and ski markets, while National Park Trips reaches an international blend of park travelers through five websites and two magazines. Altogether, the Outdoor Group reaches an audience of 3 million active enthusiasts a month.

About Active Interest Media, Inc.

Based in El Segundo, California, Active Interest Media, Inc. (AIM) is a leading publisher of enthusiast magazines, consumer shows, books and Internet sites. AIM’s five publishing groups include Healthy Living, Marine, Home Buyer, Outdoor and the Equine Group. The company publishes 35 magazines, including Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Vegetarian Times, SNEWS, American Cowboy, Log Home Living, Arts & Crafts Homes, Peaks, Dressage, Black Belt, Yachts International, and others.

AIM produces and markets conferences, DVDs and books, and produces log-and-timber home shows and seminars. The company also produces the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show®, the largest boat show in the world.

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