FM Publishing Poaches CNET Sales Exec

John Battelle’s nascent blog advertising network, Federated Media (FM) Publishing, has filled out its team with the addition of a CNET Networks sales exec and a technology director.

FM has lured Chas Edwards, currently VP of sales and marketing for CNET’s B2B properties, as its VP of sales and market development. He’ll start July 11. At CNET, Edwards was responsible for managing the team representing, ZDNet and TechRepublic to business-to-business marketers.

FM is in a very early stage of development, with no set launch date and no named publishers other than Boing Boing, which Battelle has already been working with. FM will represent ad inventory on blogs through nonexclusive relationships with authors.

Edwards admits to not knowing how the blog advertising market will turn out and points to two big challenges that FM will focus on resolving.

“First, most of these bloggers haven’t figured out how to quit their day-jobs and pay rent at the same time. Second, marketers — who are willing to kick in rent money for the opportunity to participate in this high-energy connection between blog publishers and their audiences — don’t have a scalable mechanism for doing so,” he said.

CNET did not respond to inquiries about how it would replace Edwards.

Earlier this month, FM hired Andre Torrez, formerly the director of interactive technology at full-service agency Ignited Minds. Torrez also developed the Dropload and Dropcash Web applications for transferring large files and handling micropayments.

“The theory is that blogs are difficult to buy, because the people running them don’t know how to sell,” Battelle told ClickZ News earlier this month. “What FM will hope to do is bring together an ecology of sites that taken together provides scale to an advertiser. From the media buyers I’ve spoken to, that seems to be a point of pain.” Battelle was the founder of the Industry Standard.

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