DTN EXPANDS ITS AG COMMUNICATIONS FOOTPRINT
With the recent purchase of The Progressive Farmer magazine from Time, Inc., DTN, Omaha, NE, continues to strengthen its position as a leading provider of agricultural information services and expanding its presence in the ag media marketplace.
"We influence millions of readers whose lives are directly tied to commercial agriculture or whose lives are influenced by agriculture," says VP-Media Adrian Blake, a four-year veteran of DTN and who now oversees The Progressive Farmer. "We reach approximately 300,000 commercial decision makers across the agricultural supply chain daily through the DTN electronic network. And with the addition of The Progressive Farmer, we reach 3 million readers based on 650,000 subscribers."
The Progressive Farmer's management team now includes Blake; Editor in Chief Jack Odle; Assoc Publisher Bela Kogler, and GM Allen Vaughn. The Progressive Farmer will continue to be located in Birmingham, AL.
The Progressive Farmer is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the U.S. with its roots in southern commercial farming. "Although it has always included commercial agricultural content," Odle says, "it was the first ag magazine to explicitly reach out to the rural lifestyle segment. DTN will continue with the rural lifestyle focus of the magazine, but is expanding the commercial edition of the magazine directed at large producers in the South and Midwest.
"With the newly expanded commercial edition debuting this month," Odle continues," DTN will provide reach to virtually 100% of the corn, soybean and cotton markets. The commercial edition will feature a 32 page business section with DTN content covering commodity marketing, environmental issues including weather, and a 'Best of DTN' series."
DTN is an information provider to the agricultural and energy markets. In 2006, revenues were $145 million with over 50% of revenues coming from ag. "DTN has done this by serving customers all along the ag value chain," says Blake, "with information services for producers; Web hosting services for Agribusiness; real time services for traders; Ethanol information services for plants and Investors; and the acquisition of Progressive Farmer, Rural Lifestyle information."
While a familiar industry name since the 1980s, DTN has accelerated progress significantly in the last three years. The company has done this by expanding in two directions, Blake reports.
"First, through continuously improving the content provided to our subscribers. Through adding advisory services, new management and production content, blogs and location-specific weather forecasts and alerts to its traditional services, DTN has increased the value and importance of its services.
"In keeping with the evolving market, DTN has also added extensive coverage of the exploding ethanol market, with both subscription (Prophet X Ethanol Edition, for plants and commodity traders) and public ethanol information services (dtnethanolcenter.com)."
All this is fed by a newsroom with over 90 people around the world creating content about the Ag and Energy markets. DTN's latest addition to the newsroom is prominent industry figure Marcia Zarley-Taylor, who recently joined as Exec Editor.
"Secondly, DTN dramatically expanded the platforms its content can be seen on," Blake continues. "In addition to the traditional satellite, DTN content now can be seen on significantly improved Internet subscription services, a mobile application for time-starved producers, a new public ag portal (DTNAg.com), and a new daily e-mail briefing (DTN Snapshot) with already over 80,000 daily subscribers. The Progressive Farmer also adds another media dimension for communicating with producers (as well as the rural lifestyle market) in both print and digital properties."
DTN CEO Robert Gordon says, "First and foremost, for access to the critical corn and soybean acres. With the addition of Progressive Farmer, we have virtually 100% reach to corn, soybeans and cotton. Second, expansion into the growing rural lifestyle segment much as companies like John Deere and Tractor Supply have done.
"And third, the ability to leverage two superior brands and teams. The DTN and Progressive Farmer editorial staffs have been collaborating extensively since the acquisition, and both sides seem to have gained from the process."
The new investments in DTN are paying off. Blake says, "The company anticipates revenues of $170 million in 2007. Agriculture remains at the center of DTN and is a core driver in its growth.
"And Wall Street is taking notice — DTN recently closed a $245 million financing arrangement with Goldman Sachs, positioning the company for continued growth."