Active Interest Media board chairman and former CEO Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist received the MPA Lifetime Achievement Award during the American Magazine Media Conference Feb. 6 for his longstanding contributions to the magazine media industry.
The award was presented by his sister, actress Stephanie Zimbalist, and Active Interest Media president and CEO Andrew W. Clurman. Here is a link to the presentation video.
Zimbalist began his media career in 1972 with the management consulting firm McKinsey and Co. He then served as chairman and CEO of Correia Glass, a family-owned business, before becoming president and CEO of Times Mirror Magazines. In 1999 he was named CFO of Times Mirror Corp. He also serves as vice chairman of the MPA.
Zimbalist founded Active Interest Media (Trade Only’s parent company) in 2003 and served as its chairman and CEO until 2015. By that time AIM had grown to publish more than 50 enthusiast magazines.
Zimbalist and the board appointed Clurman CEO in 2015, and Zimbalist became board chairman.
“He’s accomplished a lot in the industry but also accomplished a lot for this industry,” said former MPA chairman Jack Kliger during a video tribute to Zimbalist. “He’s shown that you can not only talk about the passions your consumers have, but you can build a business around those passions.”
“Skip could’ve been a movie star, yacht captain, maybe secretary of state, but how wonderful that he chose the magazine industry to make his career,” said Hearst Magazines president David Carey in the video.
“Over the many years we have spent first building Times Mirror Magazines and later Active Interest Media, Skip has been an extraordinary mentor, partner and friend,” Clurman said last year upon Zimbalist’s retirement. “His passion for growing businesses and the communities they serve remains at the core of our purpose and our success.”
“Skip has been a terrific partner and loyal friend since our first discussions in the early 2000s about starting a company,” said Jim TenBroek, who has served as a director since the founding of AIM, when he retired. “His vision and leadership have been the standards around which the company was built, and as a result AIM is truly the leader among consumer media businesses.”
The video of Zimbalist that was played at the MPA ceremony starts and ends with him surrounded by family. Through all of his endeavors, Zimbalist has made a point to spend time with and share stories about his four children and several grandchildren.
The video also translates some “Skipisms.” For example, “Is there anything left for us to talk about?” is a nice way of saying, “This meeting has gone on too long.”