tip off

Tips and rumours

Tingle heads to SMH/Age? Who will replace Lenore Taylor, Michelle Grattan and Katharine Murphy in Fairfax’s Canberra bureau? Crikey hears the big wigs in the Metro Media division have The Australian Financial Review political editor Laura Tingle in their sights. Sean Aylmer and Andrew Holden, editors-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, are said to be in search of a big name — a commentator with gravitas and a reputation for reliability.

Tingle certainly fits the bill, though she insists she’s got no plans to leave. “I’m well and truly ensconced at The Fin,” the press gallery veteran told Crikey. We also hear The SMH’s political and international editor, Peter Hartcher, will be encouraged to ramp up his federal politics coverage and spend more time in Canberra.

Tax, business and R&D. Amid the debate about tax arrangements for business on research and development, some interesting insight from one anonymous geek:

I used to implement big IT systems at a large retailer. These systems were often very disruptive in terms of business impact in Australia (by cutting out middlemen and allowing the retailer to own more of the value chain), but were mostly ‘off the shelf’ packages written by overseas software vendors with a small amount of in-house localisation and integration. On a couple of occasions I was asked to work with the tax gurus on writing up the projects for claiming of these R&D credits. I can’t say what happened to the claims for the projects I worked on, but it was definitely a regular practice to apply for them. I do know the business case for these projects were all based on the substantial cost savings and/or competitive advantage that came from them — that is, they would have been done regardless of the tax credits.”

Our mole wouldn’t let us say which company is referenced. But it’s a biggie.

Cricket on your radio internet. Now a free plug — but a worthy one given how many have whinged to us about ABC Radio not broadcasting the Australia v India cricket Test series from India (administrators demanded an obscene fee, and Aunty baulked). A Crikey reader reports a bunch of British cricket nerds are broadcasting ball-by-ball coverage of the series via the internet — from their couches. Test Match Sofa is billed as “alternative cricket coverage” — which for Aussies without pay TV is the best they’ll get. It’s probably illegal, so keep it to yourselves.

Leaking at Ten. James Warburton only lasted as 14 months as Channel Ten CEO, but given his dysfunctional relationship with Ten chairman Lachlan Murdoch it’s amazing he toughed it out for that long. The former Channel Seven sales boss was handpicked by Murdoch to lead Ten, but their relationship turned sour soon after he took over. Sources close to both men began leaking against each other to the media in mid-last year when it became clear the network was in for a ratings shocker. The Murdoch camp reckons Warburton was too focused on programming and didn’t involve the junior media mogul enough in decision making. Warburton’s supporters blame Murdoch for a string of poor programming decisions made during his time as interim CEO. Expect the blame game to continue playing out in the media.

2
  • 1
    Posted Monday, 25 February 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanx for the tip about test match sofa. I’ve been hunting the radio waves for a broadcast of the Australia v India cricket test series and have so far been relying on cricinfo, which I enjoy, but is not so good in the dark when I should be sleeping.

  • 2
    michael r james
    Posted Monday, 25 February 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    We can only hope Laura Tingle shifts over to the Smhage, especially as the Fin has reneged on their claim, during their last paywall rejig, that her pieces would be open access.

    It would have been logical to have promoted Phil Coorey to replace Grattan but I guess he just got fed up waiting for the curmudgeon “doyen” to retire. Another loss entirely down to atrocious judgment of Fairfax management.

    And really, do we want more Hartcher? No. OTOH it is hard not to imagine he will not feel threatened if they do bring over Tingle.

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