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VerticalNet CEO reaches out to print publishers

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Chicago--During the American Business Press' annual top management conference, the focus was on the Internet and its implications. Mark Walsh, president-CEO of Web publisher VerticalNet--once considered a pariah by the organization but welcomed Tuesday to full membership--gave a conciliatory address Wednesday. Mr. Walsh insisted that VerticalNet was ``a partner, not a pariah.'' He also said that he had been misquoted in the past as making derogatory statements about print trade publications. After outlining the approaching future of business-to-business media in the Web age, Mr. Walsh posed a question to the group, which consisted mainly of traditional print publishers, asking ``Where do we go from here together?'' He suggested that VerticalNet could be an attractive partner for many in the room, saying, ``Our investment in technology, your brand. Our back-office role, your content. It's co-opetition.''
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