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Meredith Corp. and Learfield Communications, Inc., create a joint venture to serve the rural lifestyle market.

Learfield is purchasing an ownership stake in the Living the Country Life brand which will be managed jointly by the two companies under the name Living the Country Life LLC. Meredith will maintain controlling interest in the new company.

The new business will combine Living the Country Life's current products with a nationally syndicated radio program and a greatly enhanced Web presence. Also, the magazine will increase its frequency of publication.

Meredith's Julie Schwalbe will lead the group as GM and have responsibility for all parts of the business. Betsy Freese will serve as Editor-in-Chief of the joint venture and oversee all content operations for print, television, radio and the Internet.

Agri-Pulse Communications acquires the Webster Agricultural Letter.

Subscribers to the semi-monthly, Arlington, VA-based Webster Agricultural Letter, will now receive the Agri-Pulse newsletter on a weekly basis. Jim Webster will continue to contribute his highly popular "Farm Hands on the Potomac" section and produce an annual report on political action committee contributions from farm and food groups.

In addition to this acquisition, Agri-Pulse is launching a new design and a revamped Web site at

Farm Journal Media promotes Jim Dickrell, long-time editor of DAIRY TODAY, to Assoc Publisher.

In addition to his new responsibilities, Dickrell will also continue to serve as editor of DAIRY TODAY and
Elite Producer magazines.

Farm Journal Media also expands its senior management staff for the company's Internet division, AgWeb (

Steven Slakis joins AgWeb as Sr VP/Managing Dir. David Bergen joins as VP Operations/Bus Development, and Damon Popovich joins as AgWeb's Site Mgr.

Prior to joining AgWeb, Slakis was VP of Sales and Business Development for Watt Publishing.

Bergen had been with, a network of over 500 music related Web sites.

Popovich was Web Mgr for the National Safety Council.

BowTie Inc., Irvine, CA, has redesigned, the accompanying site to Hobby Farms and Hobby Farm Home magazines (

Features will include livestock profiles, crops and gardening features, information on crafts and collectibles, advice on farm equipment and tools, farm home decorating tips and more.

Rick Haines, Northern Ag Network, receives R-CALF's annual "Wheel Horse Hall of Fame" Award, presented each year to a member of the media for outstanding and consistent coverage of issues important to the organization.

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