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Matt Marshall's VentureBeat airs a rumor that John Battelle's online blog-ad network, Federated Media, has sold a large stake to Oak Hill Capital. There's logic to it: Oak Hill is a private-equity firm with which his bankers, GCA Savvian, has previously done business. Battelle, left, was on a conference call when I tried to reach him, but in the past he's offered no comment on investment rumors. Another source dashes cold water on the notion that a deal's been done. I'd be the first to tell you not all rumors pan out. What I find more interesting about the report is this line:

Some question whether or not FM is actually worth this much money, as there are many advertising options available to its publishers.

One of the blogs for which Federated sells ads, as one of Marshall's bloggers goes on to note in the post, is VentureBeat. Is Marshall, right, using his writer as a proxy to express his discontent with his ad salesman?