Social media advertising company FM Publishing, and blog network b5media have both announced job cuts as the recession continues to deepen.
FM Publishing cut 8 positions, and said in a memo published at Valleywag that company was repositioning its ads towards "conversational marketing" vs banner advertising. FM conversational ads have previously included bloggers providing personal recommendations in ads, and in video.
The number of staff cut at b5media wasn't clear, but included "a number of" employees as well as one executive. A memo withheld by The Blog Herald (god knows why) allegedly spoke of "some belt-tightening measures that the company has had to do in line with its trimming of costs, refocusing of strategies and exploring of new opportunities."
I corresponded with a b5media person recently and was told that ad sales have remained on target, although those targets may have been some what lower given the economic climate. The companies mix of lower end ads across a diverse range of properties, with lower writing costs places it well going forward, compared to blogs with exposure to fewer, but higher yield ads. A source familiar with the matter told me that the cuts were primarily about getting rid of dead wood to make sure the company is as strong as it can be given the broader market. Given similar cuts at Gawker Media that reason isn't the least bit surprising.