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TechNews, Upside in deal

Old and new media hybrid TechNews, a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company, announces a cooperative alliance with Upside Media.

In another example of old media meeting new media and spawning hybrid offspring, TechNews, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company, announced a cooperative alliance with Upside Media.

The Washington Post Company also made an investment in Upside Media, the amount of which was not disclosed.

The announcement comes during a flurry of Net and technology publishing partnerships, some of which seem more likely than others. Last week, Microsoft's Slate and Netscape Communications tentatively agreed to distribute content from the online magazine to Netscape users. Slate also struck a distribution deal recently with America Online, although the online service is a direct competitor to Microsoft Network.

In addition, United Media's United Feature Syndicate is distributing content from the online magazine Salon to its newspaper clients, even though Web publishing poses a growing threat to newspapers' ad revenues.

In the new alliance, Upside Media will work with TechNews in a variety of areas, including joint sponsorship of industry conferences, shared editorial resources, and collaboration on advertising sales projects and Web events.

Andrew Jacobson, CEO of TechNews, said both companies were entering into this relationship to expand their reach within the technology publishing marketplace. Upside Media has the added incentive that one of its biggest competitors, Red Herring, received an investment from Softbank earlier this year. Jacobson said Upside Media wanted to join forces with a "larger media enterprise that's established," such as TechNews, which operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Washington Post Company.

In addition, the two companies cover different areas within the technology field. "We as a Washington-based organization have few resources devoted to covering Silicon Valley, and Upside is well-ensconced there," Jacobson said. "We can provide them with information and insight as to government policy regarding technology, and vice-versa, they can help us with insight into Silicon Valley. We cover a lot of technology policy matters and Upside would like to do more on that."

In addition to potential content sharing, the two companies are considering strategies to increase ad revenues and circulation. "We're offering joint ad supplements within TechCapital and Upside [magazines], so advertisers can purchase an ad supplement that would appear in both publications," Jacobson said.

Possible strategies for building circulation include exchanging mailing lists and advertising in each other's publications. "We're working on a variety of ways to reach each other's audiences," he said, adding that "no solid plans" had been made.

TechNews publishes TechCapital magazine, which covers tech industry finance and investment issues, as well as the Washington Technology and Integration Management trade magazines about government and commercial systems integration.

Upside Media publishes Upside, a monthly business magazine about the high-tech industry. The company also maintains Upside's Web site, which is updated daily, and will publish its first four book titles in the spring of 1998.

Upside also has an event planning arm called Upside Events, which produces the Internet Showcase, Showcase Preview, Upside's Internet Investor seminar, and the Upside Technology Summit. Jacobson said TechNews also does event planning, mostly in the Washington, D.C., area.

Reporter Stephanie Miles contributed to this report.