Backpacker magazine has named a new publisher to direct the publication’s growth efforts, Eric Zinczenko (35). John Boland, former publisher of Backpacker magazine and in that position since January 2002, resigned to “pursue other opportunities.”
Zinczenko, who assumes the title of publisher on April 14, is leaving Outside, where he worked as the eastern director of advertising under publisher Scott Parmelee.
Backpacker representatives told us they believe that Zinczenko is what the magazine needs in its 30th anniversary year to guide them forward to a new level of opportunity and excellence.
SNEWS View: Let’s see if we can do a little reading between the lines here. Boland was what Backpacker felt it needed in 2002 to stabilize the company’s numbers and budgets and bring a level of efficiency to the business process, or so we were told when he was hired. We also know that Boland wasn’t exactly an outdoor guy and by that we mean, heading out at every opportunity for backpacking or romping in the outdoors was not high on his agenda and as a result, swapping tales of the outdoor experience charismatically with possible advertisers and others in the industry was not in his comfort zone. Trouble is, Backpacker needs that. As a result, Jon Dorn, Backpacker’s editor in chief has become the magazine’s face. While that’s a good thing on one level, it also means that it is an editorial face, which doesn’t translate well into sales calls as long as one is trying to maintain a bit of separation between church and state. Once Boland completed his essential work, stabilizing the financial side of the business, and by all accounts, he did it very, very well, the company felt it needed a change so enter Zinczenko. From what SNEWS has learned, Zinczenko is an active climber, mountaineer, backpacker, mountain biker and, when he’s bored, turns to jumping out of airplanes. Combine his publishing face with Dorn’s editorial one and Backpacker suddenly has a very formidable tag team in the sales-call arena.