Advanstar Completes A-Team With Hire Of Johnson & Murray


Santa Ana, CA - January 27, 2005 - Advanstar Communications, Inc. -  a leading publisher of print, event and online media for the powersports, off-road and automotive aftermarket industries - today announced the hire of industry heavyweights Skip Johnson and Maurice "Mo" Murray.

Skip Johnson, the former Executive Producer of Primedia's Motor Trends Auto Shows, joins Advanstar as Vice President, Powersports Consumer Events. With nearly 30 years of experience in consumer events and publishing, Johnson will be tasked with expanding the success of Advanstar's Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows® presented by Toyota Trucks, as well as progressing new consumer opportunities.

Maurice "Mo" Murray, previously Senior Vice President of Brand Development at Global Motorsports Group, will now act as Advanstar's new Business Development Director, concentrating on the highly-customized and expansive V-Twin market. Equipped with over 15 years of powersports brand and media experience, Murray's focus will be on growing Advanstar's presence in the V-Twin market and helping the company develop new products for the burgeoning sector.

The addition of Johnson and Murray is the latest in a series of aggressive measures Advanstar has taken to increase its product offerings and capabilities for its customers. "With Skip Johnson and Mo Murray joining our strong cast of industry players, including: Mike Webster, Jim Ryan, Tracy Harris, Mike Vaughan, Mike Kidd, Lance Bryson, Doug Ferguson, Larry Silvey and Terri McMenamin, Advanstar is building the strongest media team ever to serve the vehicle market," said Executive Vice President Danny Phillips. "Our long leadership roster represents decades of combined experience and media knowledge customers can't get anywhere else."

Advanstar has taken further steps to support this new growth by reconfiguring their existing leadership team. Mike Webster, Vice President & Business Development Director, will now concentrate on the growth of Advanstar's Off-Road Group. Tracy Harris has been promoted to Vice President, Powersports Trade, with a focus on expanding Advanstar's existing trade portfolio - including Dealer Expo, Big Twin East/West, Dirt Expo and Dealernews - as well as capturing new sponsorship opportunities.

"Through the organizational restructure, our leadership is now able to act in a more specialized capacity, with greater focus on our growth opportunities," said Phillips. "What we've created for our customers is an entire suite of qualified, experienced specialists with capabilities spanning all facets of the industry. Couple that with the fact that we currently reach 1.5 million buyers nationwide -  through our Automotive Aftermarket, Powersports and Off-Road Groups - and it's clear why Advanstar has become the one place businesses go to satisfy all of their media needs."

"We are now the only multi-level solutions provider for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers, at every stage in the buying process, across multiple vehicle markets. In simple terms, we're making it easier for our customers to do business with their customers, at every level," continued Phillips.

The staff changes and additions referenced in the release go into effect immediately. For more information, please contact Allison Durgin at: (714) 513-8420,

About Advanstar Communications Inc.
Based in New York, NY, Advanstar Communications Inc. ( is a worldwide business information company serving specialized markets with high quality information resources and integrated marketing solutions. Advanstar has 77 business magazines, 19 directories, 7 electronic publications, 54 tradeshows and 40 conferences, numerous Web sites, and a wide range of print and electronic direct marketing, database and reference products and services. Advanstar serves targeted market sectors including the automotive, beauty, e-learning, call center, digital media, entertainment/ marketing, healthcare, fashion & apparel, pharmaceuticals, powersports, science, telecommunications and travel/ hospitality industries. The Company has roughly 1,500 employees and currently operates from multiple offices in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

About the Advanstar Powersports Group
The Powersports Group is the biggest producer worldwide for trade and consumer shows in the powersports industry, including the single largest aftermarket trade-only event: the Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo. In addition to Dealer Expo, Advanstar's powersports shows encompass nearly every product in all segments of the industry. ACI's Big Twin East and West shows represent the passion of Big Twin, bringing together the manufacturers, builders, and buyers who power the marketplace. Dirt Expo is the premier event for the off-road powersports industry, which runs alongside the Maxxis U.S. Open of Supercross in Las Vegas. Targeting motorcycle markets across the country, Advanstar's Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows® presented by Toyota Trucks draws more than 600,000 powersports consumers.

About the Advanstar Automotive Aftermarket Group
Advanstar's Automotive Group (Motor Age, Aftermarket Business, and Automotive Body Repair News) serves three major automotive aftermarket industry segments, including the retail and wholesale distribution channel of automotive jobbers, parts stores, auto retailers, mass merchandisers, wholesalers and warehouse distributors; general and specialty automotive service repair outlets, gasoline service stations; and collision repair body shops and automotive body restoration outlets. With a reach to 632,500 total senior level buyers in these primary channels, Advanstar's Automotive Group has a defining presence in the aftermarket.

About the Advanstar Off-Road Group
Off-Road Impact Trade Show and Conference is one of a triad of products offered by Advanstar Communications to serve the off-road market. Off-Road Retailer trade magazine targets 14,000 off-road dealers, distributors and fabricators who sell over $1 million annually or more than 25% of their revenues in off-road gear. Sister product DIRTsports is the consumer publication serving 50,000 off-road motorsports enthusiasts and is the official publication of CORR, UROC and Best-in-the-Desert. DIRTsports is published in association with SCORE International.