Rodale Inc. Closes CY'04 With Record Revenue, Up 13 Percent Over CY'03

- Rodale Magazines' Growth Betters Top 20 U.S. Publishers'; 'Best Year Ever'

for Several Titles -

- South Beach Diet Becomes Franchise, 14MM+ Copies Combined Sales, Continues

Reign on Charts;

Rodale Books Has Record Year in Sales and Number of Bestsellers -

- Year Marked by Numerous Awards and Significant Investments in International

and Interactive -

Apr 15, 2005, 01:00 ET from Rodale Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Rodale Inc. achieved record results for
 the third consecutive year, it was announced by Steve Murphy, president and
 CEO. Ending December 31, 2004, worldwide revenue was up 13 percent over the
 same period in 2003 for the privately held company, which has also
 outperformed the U.S. book and magazine industries' growth percentages
 consistently for the past three calendar years. Solid CY'03 performance for
 Rodale businesses resulted in a considerable 2004 investment in International
 growth, which included a critical market entry with the launch of Men's Health
 China, expanded Online and Technology infrastructures, and the successful
 testing of such new titles as Women's Health. Moreover, in 2004, Rodale has
 amassed more best-selling books, starred reviews, editorial awards and
 accolades than at any point in its history.
     "Having set ambitious targets for 2004 while simultaneously addressing
 several areas of investment, our gains in 2004 are particularly gratifying,"
 said Murphy.  "Most importantly, however, this performance enables us to
 continue to pursue our strategy of expanding our core brands across new
 platforms while building for the future with new properties. Our goals for the
 coming year are every bit as aggressive as they have been in the past,
 particularly given our newfound customer reach internationally and our
 expanded online platforms. At the same time, we'll look to take our developing
 properties, such as Best Life, Organic Style and The Abs Diet, to new levels
 of success."
     With increased recognition for their breakthrough health and wellness
 reportage, Rodale magazine titles experienced strong overall performances
 worldwide, with Men's Health, Prevention and Runner's World each experiencing
 record-breaking years, and three new launches outside the U.S., including
 Men's Health China, Men's Health Croatia and Men's Health Ukraine. Rodale
 surpassed the top 20 U.S. magazine companies' performances in terms of ad
 pages and ad revenue, according to PIB's 2004 year-end analysis[i]. Moreover,
 with a rise of 15 percent in ad pages for the year, Rodale outpaced the
 industry average of only a 3.8 percent increase, and; in terms of ad revenue,
 Rodale's titles were up 28 percent vs. an 11 percent average industry
 increase. In the key category of Automotive, for example, Rodale titles
 reported gains of 38 percent in ad pages for the year, while the industry was
 up only 6 percent. In the increasingly important category of Toiletries and
 Cosmetics, Rodale's advertising revenue was up 33 percent versus a 9 percent
 average industry increase, while ad pages for the company in Food and Beverage
 rose 58 percent, compared to an industry average improvement of only 9
     Said Murphy, "Increasingly, affinity groups are becoming the new geography
 for everyone in the business of content creation and delivery. We're finding
 ourselves well suited to this market reality as Rodale has always been at its
 best when speaking to large numbers of people about their focused areas of
 interest. Today, our teams are very effectively bringing these interested
 parties to advertisers, and our growth in so many category-specific areas --
 particularly those in Rodale's traditional areas of dominance, such as health
 and wellness -- certainly speaks to this progress."
     In Rodale Books' news, the company's worldwide retail and direct-to-
 consumer book-publishing operations rose nearly 18 percent in 2004 over 2003.
 With record sales at retail in 2004 and a record number of best-selling
 titles,* Rodale's continued momentum at trade was further demonstrated by
 Publishers Weekly's 2004 ranking of Rodale at No. 7 among all major publishers
 in its share of best-seller positions[iii].  Leading the charge were Rodale's
 South Beach Diet titles (The South Beach Diet, The South Beach Diet Cookbook
 and The South Beach Diet Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide). Having effectively been
 developed into a franchise property in 2004, the series reached more than 14
 million copies in print and dominated national nonfiction best-seller charts
 once again. Pete Rose's My Prison Without Bars and the Imus Ranch Cookbook
 were among Rodale's other bestsellers, as was The Abs Diet (by Men's Health
 Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko), the hit that began as a brand extension and
 has now become a brand and a franchise in its own right. In Rodale's Direct-
 to-Consumer business, Prevention's The Sugar Solution, Prevention's Firm Up in
 3 Weeks and the Complete Beauty Bible have all had strong sales this year.
 *(Please see attached for complete list of Rodale's 2004 best-selling titles.)
     "I'm proud to see our book teams delivering results like these year after
 year," said Murphy. "By consistently leveraging every marketing tool within
 the Rodale arsenal to help their titles realize their full potential, Rodale
 continues to be unique in its ability to deliver for agents and authors."
     Recent notable author and book signings for Rodale include: Marcus Mabry
 of Newsweek to author Twice As Good: The Souls of Condoleezza Rice, Bill Maher
 to pen New Rules, and NPR's Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, for
 Hidden Kitchens: Stories of Land, Kitchen and Community. Additional releases
 of mention: Kirstie Alley's How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life (2005),
 Denise Austin's Eat Carbs, Lose Weight (2005); Body-for-LIFE for Women by
 Pamela Peeke (2005) and Outside the Box, an autobiography by Lynn Sherr
     In other important news for the year, in January, Rodale International was
 established as a formal division with Gianni Crespi appointed to serve as
 President.  The team, which has already upped revenue outside the U.S. by 13
 percent (CY'04), was charged with developing and implementing a brand
 expansion strategy for Rodale's book- and magazine-publishing operations. In
 May, Rodale entered into an equal joint venture in the U.K. with The National
 Magazine Company (a Hearst subsidiary), forming NatMag Rodale Ltd. Rodale also
 entered China, the Ukraine and Croatia with local editions of Men's Health,
 and began talks with potential partners in several other key markets, which
 are expected to develop into formalized agreements in 2005. Markets in which
 Rodale was particularly strong in 2004 include Germany, the U.K. and South
     Also of note:
     * In November, Rodale formed the Integrated Marketing Solutions Group.
       Headed by Denise Favorule, Senior Vice President/Managing Director, this
       team delivers a broad range of integrated-marketing services to food and
       nutrition, fitness and health and organic living businesses.
     * In April 2004, Rodale's Custom Publishing division developed diane: The
       Curves Magazine(TM) for Curves International, the largest fitness
       franchise in the world and fastest-growing fitness franchise in America.
       The division also recently (March 2005) announced a deal to publish a
       new bi-monthly magazine, RVLiving, for Lazydays, the nation's largest RV
     * Rodale's thriving SIP and New Product Development teams, with a mandate
       to test products in real-time with speed to market, experienced a number
       of strong releases in 2004, including the successful development title
       Women's Health. The first two issues have been greeted with critical
       acclaim and strong reader response, with sell-through currently at more
       than 40 percent. Other notable pieces produced in this group include the
       Lance Armstrong Tour de France Special Issue and Men's Health Muscle,
       among many others.
     The following Rodale magazine ad revenue/ad page highlights are based on
 PIB statistics comparing January through December 2004 to the same period in
       * Men's Health scored its third-consecutive record-breaking year,
       bringing 1,109 ad pages into the book, which represented a 14 percent
       increase over its stellar 2003. In Automotive, the title's pages rose
       42 percent -- nearly 100 pages more than 2003 -- giving them a gain of
       35 percent and clear market-share leadership (22 percent). In 2004,
       Men's Health was named to Adweek's Hot List (and again in 2005 at  No.
       7), and made another appearance on Advertising Age's A-List for General
       Excellence, reaching No. 3. The title received important recognition
       from Capell's Circulation Report when given the nod as one of the
       industry's Best Newsstand Performers of the Last Decade and as Best
       Circulation Performer, 2004. Men's Health took home the National
       Magazine Award in the Personal Service Category as well. On the heels
       of the successes of the title, Editor-in-Chief David Zinczenko was
       recently promoted to Senior Vice President; MaryAnn Bekkedahl, also
       upped to Senior Vice President, was appointed Global Brand Director;
       and Associate Publisher Jack Essig was promoted to Publisher.
       * Prevention experienced its biggest year in ad revenue ever, with
       growth in categories across the board and more than 200 new brands
       added to the magazine. The title had double-digit ad-page growth (16
       percent) while ad revenue was up 24.6 percent over 2003. Prevention
       began 2004 with a complete redesign and a rate-base increase to 3.3
       million, the highest in the history of the magazine. As the 12th
       largest magazine in the country, with 10.6 million readers each month,
       and a new, broader approach to health and wellness, the title was
       recognized with a spot on Advertising Age's A-List. also
       re-launched to reflect the magazine's redesign, displaying the range
       and depth of content available on the site and effectively creating
       easier navigation for its millions of customers. Rosemary Ellis, the
       title's Editorial Director, was recently promoted to Senior Vice
       * Runner's World, which launched a complete redesign in April, closed
       the most successful year in its history -- also its third-consecutive
       record-breaker. The title was up 43.2 percent in ad revenue and 14.4
       percent in ad pages over 2003. Additionally, the magazine sold a record
       number of copies at newsstand in 2004, and was named as one of Capell's
       Best Audits of the Decade. Paid circulation rose for the 10th straight
       year; and, as of January 2005, Runner's World increased its rate base
       from 575,000 to 600,000, the ninth rate-base increase in 10 years,
       representing a jump of 80,000 in just two years. During the year, 65
       new advertisers appeared in the pages of Runner's World, approximately
       40 percent of which were non-endemic and included: AOL, Subway, Target
       and Toyota, to name a few. The title also appeared in the 10 Under 50
       category on Adweek's Hot List in 2004. In 2005, the title hit  No. 1 on
       that list and was named Creative Team of the Year. In January,
       following the notable achievements of the title, both Editor-in-Chief
       David Willey and Publisher Andy Hersam were promoted to Vice President.
       * By continually delivering the freshest styles, trends and tastes to
       its ever-expanding mainstream audience; Organic Style magazine has, in
       only four years, played an important role in helping redefine "organic"
       for American consciousness. In March, Organic Style increased its rate
       base to 750,000 and upped its frequency to 10 issues per year.
       Concurrently, the magazine delivered a 108 percent increase in ad
       revenue and a rise of 81 percent in ad pages over 2003. Among the 84
       new accounts were such globally recognized brands as Apple, Sigrid
       Olsen, Altoids and Mazda. In 2004 the magazine also hit Adweek's Hot
       List (and appeared again in 2005 at No. 4 on the 10 Under 50 list).
       Additionally, the book is attracting such editorial talent as Bryan
       Miller, the noted New York Times restaurant critic; essayist Cynthia
       Kaplan; and Ann Marie Gardner, editor of The New York Times' The
       Sophisticated Traveler, among others.
       * With its Jan/Feb 2004 issue, Organic Gardening unveiled a new logo
       and cover design, along with broadened editorial coverage, focusing on
       ornamental as well as food gardening. The redesign brought top
       photographers such as Victor Schrager to the magazine for the first
       time. Following a rate-base reduction in line with a strategic move
       designed to improve overall profitability, Organic Gardening increased
       ad pages by 10 percent and reduced ad revenue by 19.4 percent. New
       advertisers included New York Life Insurance, Olay and
       Ford/Environmental Strategy, among others.
       * Best Life, the new men's service magazine targeting the upscale
       reader, officially launched as a bi-monthly in May and garnered 80 ad
       pages in just three issues in 2004. Best Life has broken new Rodale
       ground both editorially and in advertising: American Express Green
       Card, Givenchy Homme and Chanel/Allure Sport have all placed ads. With
       its emphasis on fine photography and literary journalism, the title has
       published such high-profile authors as Steve Martin, David Mamet and
       Pete Hamill. With a beginning rate base of 200,000 and a Jan/Feb 2005
       increase to 300,000, Best Life is the second-fastest growing newsstand
       magazine in the U.S. following an 86 percent increase in paid
       circulation during the second half of 2004, according to the Audit
       Bureau of Circulations.
       * Bicycling, which was selected as a finalist in the General Excellence
       category at the National Magazine Awards under Editor-in-Chief Steve
       Madden, saw ad revenue rise 12 percent, while ad pages declined 9.6
       percent from 2003. Chris Lambiase, former publisher and president of
       Smart Money, joined in October as Publisher of Rodale's Cycling Group,
       which includes Bicycling and Mountain Bike. Joao Correia joined the
       Cycling Group as Advertising Director in November, coming from Esquire.
       Mountain Bike, which published quarterly in 2004 and is not tracked by
       PIB, will publish six times in 2005.
       * Backpacker was up 9.4 percent in ad revenue and ad pages were up one
       percent in 2004 over the previous year. Publisher Eric Zinczenko and
       Executive Editor Jonathan Dorn redesigned the magazine in September and
       rolled out two regional editions (California and Northwest) during the
       fourth quarter, driving double-digit sales increases at newsstand. In
       January 2005, six fully launched regional editions (California,
       Northwest, Mountain West, Southeast, Midwest and Northeast) joined the
       national title. As of January 2005, Backpacker increased its rate base
       for the second straight year, from 300,000 to 310,000.
     As one of the world's most trusted sources for health-and-wellness
 content, Rodale Inc. ( ) reaches more than 30 million
 people in 42 countries each month through its category-leading media
 properties and integrated marketing solutions. For more than 60 years, the
 privately held company has inspired and enabled people to improve their lives
 through its reporting of groundbreaking, science-based health-and-wellness
 information. Rodale's magazines, including the worldwide brands Men's Health,
 Runner's World and Prevention, as well as Backpacker, Best Life, Bicycling,
 Mountain Bike, Organic Gardening and Organic Style, regularly garner honors
 for editorial, design and circulation performance and, as a whole,
 consistently outperform industry averages in both ad-page and ad-revenue
     Rodale is also the largest independent book publisher in America, with an
 expanding stable of international titles. Recent New York Times Bestsellers
 include the titles within The South Beach Diet and The Abs Diet franchises, as
 well as Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars and Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect
 Weight Loss. Special interest publications, including the company's newest
 title, Women's Health; a broad range of successful interactive media products,
 like; and integrated marketing solutions, such as the custom-
 publishing partnership with Curves International, are among the assets that
 round out Rodale's portfolio of innovative, mission-based brands and
     [i]   According to the Publishers Information Bureau Inc.  Group
           Publisher's Report, January - December 2004/2003.
     [ii]  PIB for Jan-Dec 2004 compared to Jan-Dec 2003 (all U.S. stats
           only).  References to the  Automotive category represent all vehicle
           brands, rental companies and  automotive accessories; the Food and
           Beverage category excludes hard liquor; Toiletries and Cosmetics
           includes cosmetics and beauty (unisex and woman),  personal hygiene
           and health (unisex and woman), hair products and accessories
           (unisex and woman) and toiletries, hygiene goods and skin care
     [iii] According to Publishers Weekly Bestsellers by Corporation,
           representing share of 1,530 hardcover positions on Publishers
           Weekly Bestseller charts in 2004.

SOURCE Rodale Inc.