Don't be cowed by credit crunch

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Although b-to b media players eyeing deals need to exercise caution because of the credit crunch and subprime mess, they can ill afford to stay idle, said Mike Marchesano, a managing director at media investment bank Jordan, Edmiston Group.

"There's a need for b-to-b media companies to look for new information tools," said Marchesano, who in August joined Jordan, Edmiston after several years in senior management at VNU and its successor, Nielsen Co. "Technology and business informa-tion tools are the new currency. It's not going to happen overnight, but b-to-b media companies need to supply these assets if they're to remain competitive."

Marchesano said two b-to-b deals this year are representative of where the industry is headed: Reed Business Information's acquisition in January of lead-generation company Buyer Zone for an undisclosed sum, and TechTarget's purchase of KnowledgeStorm in November for $58 million.

The deals were "indicative of what all b-to-b media companies need to do," Marchesano said. "They're bringing buyers and sellers together, which is what b-to-b companies do, but they took the concept to the Web 2.0 model."

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