John Battelle Starts Searching For His Replacement At FM Publishing

Federated Media Publishing is looking for a new leader. In a blog post today, founder John Battelle says after four years he is conducting an executive search to find somebody to “take it to the next level.” The blog advertising network is trying to branch out into something called “conversational marketing,” which it is also trying at the same time to invent. After shopping the company around last year and not finding a buyer willing to pay his price, Battelle decided to raise $50 million instead.

With those investors comes pressures for growth and profits. Battelle claims once wrote that he finds the prospect of making ” lots and lots of money . . . uninteresting,” and quotes himself saying so in today’s post. Now, as he notes in the comments, he says that “there is almost nothing I find uninteresting about running FM”. But he realizes it is time to step down, though he writes that he will still be deeply involved with his baby in other ways such as bringing in advertising clients. He also offers these tidbits about FM’s business. It made nearly $40 million in revenues in its third year, 2007 2008. Update: Battelle was referring to 2008 when he mentioned the company’s third year, though this was ambiguous in the post.

Last year, FM distributed $25 million in revenues to its network of blogs. Assuming a 50/50 split that would have generated $25 million in revenues for FM, but it also has other sources of revenues from its newer conversational marketing campaigns, events, and other businesses.