Advanstar Integrates Vehicle Groups

Advanstar Communications Inc. yesterday announced it was streamlining management of its vehicle groups. The media company merged its consumer and trade powersports properties, which include the International Motorcycle Shows and Dealernews magazine, into a single Powersports Group. Advanstar also consolidated its Off-Road publishing, exposition and e-media properties under its Automotive Group. The moves result in the departure of two vice presidents, Skip Johnson and Mike Webster.

The move is "part of our strategy to manage our related magazines, shows, websites and training businesses within a new, integrated management structure," the company stated. "Advanstar's integration plan will provide a more streamlined customer service operation, particularly for those advertisers, sponsors and exhibitors who use the Advanstar portfolio as a major part of their marketing plan."

All of Advanstar's motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile and watercraft-related properties, including Dealernews, 2Wheel Tuner, Dealer Expo and the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows, now report to Vice President Tracy Harris, an 18-year veteran of Advanstar's powersports unit who had been directing the company's trade properties, Dealernews and Dealer Expo, for the last several years. Jeff D'Entremont, business development director for the International Motorcycle Shows, now reports directly to Harris.

Jim Savas, who has worked in the auto media business for 30 years and is responsible for Advanstar's suite of business magazines for the auto aftermarket, takes charge of the company's Off-Road media portfolio, which publishes Dirtsports and Off-Road Business, produces the website and organizes Off-Road Expos in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Off-Road Group Publisher Jim Ryan now reports directly to Savas.

Both Johnson and Webster will be leaving Advanstar as a result of the management changes. Johnson had managed the International Motorcycle Shows for the last three years. Webster was a 26-year veteran of the company who had managed a number of media products in the powersports, automotive, home entertainment, call center and art sectors. Webster directed the operations at Dealernews, Dealer Expo and the International Motorcycle Shows from 1990 to 2001, and then again from 2003 to 2004.