Backpacker Gets Bigger Backyard
The staff of 340,000-circ Backpacker now has a bigger playground to, well, backpack. Its new owner—private-equity backed Active Interest Media, which closed on its purchase of the magazine from Rodale for $14 million in May—has completed transplanting staff and operations to Boulder, Colorado from its former Emmaus, Pennsylvania headquarters.
Editor-in-chief Jon Dorn was the first to publicly commit to the move when the deal was announced, four other staffers later joined him, including art director Matthew Bates. The magazine also recently completed a round of hiring, adding eight editorial, marketing and sales employees to the roster in August. Publisher Kent Ebersole and marketing director Charina Lumley joined the magazine in May.
So far, Dorn is pleased with the magazine’s new home. “As a Southern friend of mine put it, we landed in a tub of butter, both in terms of the location and the new parent company. AIM is a great home for us. We’re getting lots of attention, new resources, and there’s zero bureaucracy to slow things down, which suits Backpacker’s down-and-dirty style really well,” he says.
As one might expect, Backpacker’s new offices will benefit from a significant boost in hikeable landscape, i.e., the Rockies, the Flatirons, Eldorado Canyon, Estes Park, and on. Dorn notes that the new location will help in equipment reviews as will its proximity to manufacturers. “Talk about an upgrade,” says Dorn in his October issue editor’s note. “Trailwise, we just got summoned from triple A to the big leagues. While the Appalachian Trail has been great for gear-testing, our product reviewers will have the advantage of even tougher, more varied conditions and a pool of hard-core mountain athletes who thrash their stuff 365 days a year.”