Om Malik, the head of the Giga Omni Media group of tech blogs, said on Friday he is moving his ad business from John Battelle's Federated Media to a new advertising network IDG launched in March.
The companies, which have partnered for three years (and weathered differences of opinion involving a scandal over "conversational marketing" in which the writing of Malik, Battelle, and other bloggers was featured in ads for Microsoft), are splitting amicably. They are characterizing the move as them having grown in different directions, according to Malik and Federated Media Publisher Chas Edwards.
Giga Omni Media's seven Web sites are small vertical sites, which are more suited for a company with a trade publishing background like IDG, Edwards said in an interview.
Meanwhile, "the Federated Media approach is the Conde Nast or Time Inc. approach, (working with) larger brands, fewer of them, and national and global advertisers," he said. "Our model has not been well-suited to take those smaller sites where they wanted to go.
"I think it's actually a wonderful move for Om and, frankly, for Federated Media," Edwards added.
In a blog posting, Malik explained the situation like this:
"Progress is often accompanied by a divergence of ideas and ambitions within partnerships. At Giga Omni Media, we have been developing a network that revolves around niche verticals. As our needs became more specialized, we sat down with the folks at Federated to try and figure out how we could continue to work together. But both sides quickly realized that instead it was time to wrap up what has been a successful business relationship."
The situation is completely different from the circumstances that led to news aggregator Digg to switch from Federated Media to Microsoft for its advertising last year. While Microsoft serves up the contextual and display ads on Digg, Federated Media handles the sponsorships, including some banner ads, Edwards said.