I guess I got this one wrong.
I've been predicting for awhile now that Vance Publishing, where I was once a senior writer, would be sold to fellow Kansas City-based B2B publisher Ascend Media. But now comes word that Vance has acquired Doane Agricultural Services of St. Louis. The purchase doesn't mean that Vance won't be sold, but it sure doesn't make it more likely.
The Doane deal is an interesting one for Vance -- expanding the company's offerings from B2B publications into commodities analysis and advice. In addition, Vance picks up a radio program in the deal -- AgriTalk, a daily program broadcast through 74 affiliate stations.
I wish my friends at Vance well. Agriculture may be the most competitive space in today's B2B media world. I'm a fan of the changes at agriculture.com and I love such non-traditional publishers as agwired. And I've said before that agriculture seems particularly well-suited to coverage by standalone journalists (take a look at just such a site by Matt Mullen, a regular contributor to this blog.)
The Doane deal may prove to be a first step in exactly the sort of expansion beyond traditional publishing that Vance needs in this new environment. Most importantly, the deal gives Vance its first true multimedia holding -- pushing it into the big leagues of ag journalism alongside Farm Journal and DTN.
tags: journalism, b2b, media, trade press, magazines, advertising , entrepreneurial journalism, standalone journalism