Federated Media Executives Jump Ship, Swim to Startup LinkSmart


Federated Media announced last Friday that it is closing down its direct display advertising side of the business, laying off 24 employees in the process. Currently with over 180 million monthly unique page views, Federated Media, founded by John Battelle (pictured), is one of the top ad agencies in the industry, but even that couldn’t shield this media darling from a highly competitive industry and a stagnant economy.

In a recent blog post, Battelle wrote, “The model of ‘boxes and rectangles’ – the display banner – is failing to fully support traditional ‘content’ sites beyond a handful of exceptions. For 15 years, independent websites have ‘direct sold’ these units on their sites, or hired someone (like Federated Media Publishing) to do it for them. But marketers increasingly are turning away from direct-sold display units.”

Just on the heels of this announcement, Emanuel Puentes, the former CTO of Federated Media, landed a new position as CTO of LinkSmart, a text link optimization startup based in Boulder, Colorado.

“I’ve always been drawn to the rush that comes with creating new technologies,” said Puentes. “After hearing about LinkSmart’s approach to solving many of the publishing industry’s challenges through text link optimization, I knew they were on to something big and this was a company I had to be part of.”

Emmanuel is LinkSmart’s fourth new hire from Federated Media.


  1. Not 24 laid off, but more than 50 employees laid off. That is unfortunately the ground reality and not what was sent via a press release. Wish it was a public company and accountable for speaking the truth!

    Glad someone noticed the exodus of leadership from this company, no need to be a hero and stay on a sinking ship.

    A lot more discussion going on around this in the comments here – http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/federated-media-shutters-standard-direct-sales-business-145069

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