Rodale Sports Group Titles Sweep To Four National Magazine Award Nominations

All three of the Rodale Sports Group’s monthly magazines--Runner’s World, Bicycling and Backpacker—were selected today by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) as finalists in various categories for the 2006 National Magazine Awards, the magazine industry’s highest editorial honor.

NEW YORK, March 15, 2006 – All three of the Rodale Sports Group's monthly magazines--Runner's World, Bicycling and Backpacker—were selected today by the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) as finalists in various categories for the 2006 National Magazine Awards, the magazine industry's highest editorial honor.

Runner's World, now in its 40th year of publication, was selected as a finalist for General Excellence among magazines with 500,000 to one million circulation (Runner's World has a circulation rate base of 615,000). This marks Runner's World's third NMA nomination in the past two years under VP/Editor-In-Chief David Willey and his editorial team (which were finalists last year in both the Leisure Interests and Magazine Section categories), and the fourth nomination in the title's history.

Backpacker Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Dorn and his team earned the 315,000-circulation magazine's first-ever National Magazine Award nominations in the categories of General Excellence (among magazines with a circulation between 250,000 to 500,000) and Magazine Section. The latter nomination recognizes Backpacker's front-of-the-book mega-department “Basecamp,” which delivers a mix of first-person travel narrative and essential outdoors know-how within the sub-sections of Adventure, Nature and Skills.

Bicycling, which was a finalist for General Excellence in 2004, was selected as a finalist once again this year in the category of Leisure Interests for “Hey Big Fella,” a 12-page package of stories, training tips and gear selection for riders of a certain weight from the September 2005 issue The package was anchored around profiles written by contributing writer Mike Magnuson of two riders—one a 370-pound man struggling to lose weight and save his life through riding, the other an avid 290-pound cyclist looking for acceptance from the elite racers in his community. This marks the second NMA nomination in the past three years for VP/Editor-In-Chief Stephen Madden and the Bicycling team, and the fourth in the magazine's history.

Overall, the Rodale Sports Group titles accounted for four of Rodale's overall eight NMA nominations. Rodale siblings Men's Health (three nominations) and Prevention (one) accounted for the others.

“Our goal around here is to produce great magazines every month, and to have our work recognized in this way by our peers is a real honor," said Willey, who in addition to his duties with Runner's World also serves as the Sports Group's Editorial Director. "It's been a thrilling couple of years at Runner's World since the redesign in April 2004, and this nomination is a tribute to all the editors, designers, writers, photographers and photo editors who have helped transform a running magazine into a great magazine that speaks in new and compelling ways to all runners.

"And I'm especially thrilled for Steve and Jon, two hugely talented editors who, together with their own fantastic teams, have made Bicycling and Backpacker two of the most well-written, instructive and visually appealing magazines anywhere in publishing. It's an honor to work with them."

“The dual nomination is a real affirmation of my staff's tireless efforts to make Backpacker the most useful, authentic, and entertaining read in our space,” noted Dorn. “There's not a person here who hasn't shed blood working to improve the quality of our design, photography, and storytelling. For our peers to recognize what we're doing for our readers is a real honor.”

“We're thrilled to be recognized as a nominee by ASME,” said Madden. “We feel particularly gratified because the package that's been nominated (“Hey Big Fella”) was the work we were really most proud of last year, and it really seemed to resonate with our readers as much or more than anything else we've published in Bicycling.”

Backpacker was one of six first-time NMA finalists, along with Legal Affairs, Town & Country Travel, McSweeney's, and Backpacker was also one of just 24 magazines to receive multiple nominations.

The 40th annual National Magazine Awards will be presented on Tuesday, May 9 at an evening awards ceremony at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.

The awards honor print and online magazines for superior execution of stated editorial objectives, innovative editorial techniques, noteworthy journalistic enterprise, and imagination and vigor in layout and design. Established in 1966, the National Magazine Awards is the preeminent program in the magazine industry to honor editorial excellence. The awards program is sponsored by ASME, in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The 115 finalists were chosen by a panel of 215 judges from among the 1,643 entries submitted by 356 print and online publications.

For more information and a complete list of nominees, visit