Thursday, May 18, 2006

health magazine: Rodale award-winner pats editor on back(side)

By Sam Kennedy
Of The Morning Call

Who has the best rear end at Rodale?

An answer to that question was put forth in dramatic fashion Tuesday night at a black-tie, Oscar-esque awards ceremony in New York.

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There, Backpacker, published by Rodale of Emmaus, won one of the magazine industry's top editorial honors, a National Magazine Award, or an ''Ellie,'' from the the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Upon hearing the announcement, Backpacker Editor in Chief Jonathan Dorn sprang onto the stage and embraced the host, ASME President and Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker, in a spoof of the infamous Adrian Brody-Halle Berry kiss at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Dorn then proclaimed that fellow Rodale employee David Zinczenko, editor of Men's Health magazine, has ''probably got the best ass'' at the company.

That, anyway, is how Advertising Age quoted Dorn on its Web site Wednesday morning.

The quote on another media industry Web site was just a little different — more definitive in its pronouncement. had Dorn saying that Zinczenko ''has the best ass at Rodale.''

Either way, the sentiment was clear.

(Zinczenko was named one of People magazine's top 50 bachelors in 2002. He is also the author of the bestselling book ''The Abs Diet,'' which instructs readers to eat 12 foods, including almonds and protein powder.)

Dorn's speech didn't stop there.

''I'm going to be working at Details by the time this night is done,'' he told the audience, according to Industry Age.

''This was actually my speech from general excellence,'' he added, alluding to Backpacker's loss to New York Magazine in that category.

The Ellie that Backpacker won honored its front-of-the-book department called ''Basecamp,'' which includes a mix of first-person travel narrative and practical outdoors advice.

''This is a great moment for Jonathan Dorn and the Backpacker team, as well as for Rodale,'' Rodale Chief Executive Steve Murphy said in a news release.

Efforts to contact Dorn were unsuccessful. A Rodale spokeswoman said Wednesday he was not available for comment.

The Ellies are the magazine industry's highest editorial honors. Although only Backpacker won an award, four other Rodale publications were finalists.

Backpacker, Men's Health, Prevention, Runner's World and Bicycling received a total of eight nominations in various categories. (In addition to Backpacker's two, Men's Health received three nominations.)

The big winner Tuesday night was newsweekly Time, which took the general excellence Ellie in the highest-circulation category, plus the single-topic award for its ''An American Tragedy'' issue, which came out the week after Hurricane Katrina.