Farm Journal Media: Behind Its Growth in Print, Digital, Events and More
Skodzinski: Do you think the iPad/tablets are the answer to mobile magazines ... and/or that mobile/digital magazines are the future of the industry?
Weber: Well, tablets may be the answer today in b-to-b—stay tuned, you have to be ready for anything. Ag[griculture] is way behind the curve on this.
Skodzinski: Have you launched products in the mobile space? If so, can you give a couple of examples of what has been successful for you? If not, do you have plans to ... and why or why not?
Weber: We have fledgling mobile products in the space. AgWeb, for example, is available on mobile, and we're launching apps. It's still real early in the agricultural market because of low penetration of smart phones and tablets; but you have to be ready. Our biggest play so far is the equity investment we just made into Commodity Update LLC—the runaway leader in mobile marketing in agriculture.
Even More Interesting Stuff
Skodzinski: What is something your company did right to survive through difficult economic times?
Weber: Packaged our media effectively, cut all non-revenue producing [expense]. In 2003-2004, we eliminated 30 percent of staff. Those were the dark days.
Skodzinski: What are you most excited about this year?
Weber: Our new nonprofit corporation, The Farm Journal Foundation, which is a 501(c)3 public charity. Our first initiative is Farmers Feeding the World, which we're looking to rally agriculture to ultimately raise $100 million/year in the fight against world hunger.
Skodzinski: What is the best business decision you have made during the past year or two?
Weber: Easy. Realizing a couple of years ago that my senior management team didn't need me screwing up their operations day-to-day, which let me move on to new and bigger opportunities.