Active Interest Media Completes Deal for SkramMedia Titles

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6/1/10 - Active Interest Media, Inc. (AIM) has completed an agreement to purchase Skram Media's Climbing, Urban Climber, and Mountain Gazette properties, announced AIM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III. The new magazines and websites expand AIM's growing portfolio of enthusiast magazines, consumer shows, and Internet sites (www.aimmedia.com), as well as the company's already robust multimedia footprint in the outdoor market.

The Skram titles will join AIM's recently formed Outdoor Group, which currently includes Backpacker, SNEWS, the leading trade property for the outdoor industry, and National Parks Interactive, a tourism-focused media network that produces print publications and websites for national park vacationers. The additions will increase the Outdoor Group's combined readership to more than 1.35 million and its online audience to 430,000 unique visitors a month, broadening a platform that provides comprehensive print, digital, mapping, and mobile solutions for multisport enthusiasts and active travelers.

“Skram is exactly the kind of enthusiast-centric media business we seek to add to our company,” said Zimbalist. “Climbing and Urban Climber are category leaders and committed corporate citizens, and both have significant growth potential when paired with our existing brands and supported by our digital expertise and publishing resources. We're very excited about the opportunity this deal presents to bring more dynamic solutions to the Outdoor Group's trade and consumer partners.”

“These titles are birds of a feather with Backpacker,” said Jonathan Dorn, General Manager of AIM's Outdoor Group. “They're mission-driven, with a passion for the kind of editorial that inspires and enables readers to get outdoors, and their editors are out there living the life.” Group Publisher Kent Ebersole added, “The combined expertise of our existing and new properties-in everything from product reviews to retail events to mobile marketing programs-will enable the Outdoor Group to serve readers, users, and advertisers in diverse ways across a wide range of mountain and trail sports.”

Founded 40 years ago, Climbing has been the most trusted voice for the sport of climbing, with award-winning photography, in-depth articles and personality profiles, and the latest advice on where to climb. It is North America's largest climbing magazine, and the only one with an audited circulation. Urban Climber is the leading media property for the youth market, serving the demands of the fastest-growing segment of the climbing population with an emphasis on new media. Mountain Gazette is the voice of the Rockies, an outspoken journal of mountain people, times, and ideas.

“We couldn't imagine a better partner for taking these titles to the next level,” said Mark Crowther, founder of Skram Media. “AIM is structured to support local management of niche brands, which protects their authenticity and doesn't subject titles like Climbing to a cookie-cutter corporate approach. We'll benefit from Backpacker, which will be a terrific conduit for new readers, but we'll also have the freedom to chart the unique course that best serves each of our distinct audiences.”

Crowther, who launched Urban Climber before acquiring Climbing in 2007, remains as publisher. Joining the team is Dougald MacDonald, who will serve as editorial director of the climbing titles and editor-in-chief of Climbing. MacDonald was formerly the editor and publisher of Rock & Ice and the co-founder of Trail Runner magazine. He is the author of numerous books, articles, and blogs on climbing and mountaineering, and he brings decades of experience on rock, snow, and ice.

The terms of the deal, under which AIM will manage the Skram properties with an agreement to buy the titles in the future, are confidential The staffs of Climbing and Urban Climber will move to AIM's Outdoor Group offices, which are also located in Boulder, Colorado, overlooking the Flatirons.

About Active Interest Media, Inc. – Active Interest Media, Inc. (AIM, www.aimmedia.com) is a leading publisher of enthusiast magazines, consumer shows, books and Internet sites. AIM was formed by Wind Point Partners, a private equity investment firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Southfield, Michigan, in partnership with CEO Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, in October 2003.

About Skram Media – Skram Media offers a portfolio of highly read multiplatform outdoor editorial products, including Climbing magazine, Climbing.com, Urban Climber magazine, UrbanClimberMag.com, MyUCTV.com, Mountain Gazette, and MountainGazette.com. The portfolio provides synergy between print and digital properties, reaching more than 330,000 readers monthly. Skram Media was represented in this deal by A. Buchholtz & Company, LLC.