Industry Moves: FM's Chas Edwards Defects To Digg; Spande Promoted FM's Sales Head

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Just two weeks after Federated Media founder John Battelle said he would relinquish his role as CEO and look outside for a successor, the company has lost co-founder, Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer Chas Edwards (pictured at right) to social news site Digg. He'll have the same title there, according to Digg's official blog. On Edwards' own blog, ChasNote, he said that even though Digg has been around for 5 years and has 35 million users, "it's still the early days for figuring out the models that bring brands into conversation with the Digg community." Digg will remain part of FM's network and Edwards will still likely interact with his former colleagues, a source told paidContent.

FM promotes Spande: One of those veteran colleagues that Edwards is still expected to deal with is Pete Spande, who has been promoted to senior vice president of sales. Since 2007, Spande has led FM's East Coast sales organization. He will work with Josh Mattison, the company's SVP West Coast Sales on strategy going forward. A source said that Spande is not considered Edwards full replacement, as Edwards' role as publisher and CRO will be handled by a number of different individuals over the next few months. Release More after the jump

The next level: The changes come as FM seeks to evolve from a start up blog network representing tech company's. The company claims to have brought in about $40 million in revenue last year and is looking to expand. The timing of Edwards' departure with Battelle's scaled back role was decided on about four months ago, a source close to the company told paidContent. The source described Edwards as someone who is "best at taking a company from $0 to $50 million," but to grow from there FM would need someone who has closer ties with major marketers. FM is also looking to broaden its purview from tech to include verticals such as home, food and entertainment. The company expects to announce deals with non-tech blogs in the next few days and weeks.

By David Kaplan