John Singleton and his chairman Mark Carnegie fronted a relaxed, but somewhat cocky board at the STW Holdings AGM in the company’s bar in Sydney this morning. There were laughs a minute from the bloke’s club – though not a peep from quiet director Anne Keating – and the mirth continued as Crikey shareholder activist Stephen Mayne chipped in with his first question on the re-election of director John Singleton.

Singo revealed at the meeting that he blames Peter Morgan for the institutions blocking his attempt to buy 2GB four years ago, claiming it has cost STW shareholders $80-90 million. On the topic of managing his personal expenses he said that “I spend everything I can as quickly as I can,” noting that he didn’t get paid a salary by any other company and that his $300,000 a year from STW was coming down each year as he crawled towards the grave.

After laughing off most questions, Singo also thanked Mayne “for not asking about the assault charge,” and in the spirit of the board’s playful mood, Carnegie even enouraged Mayne (attending as a shareholder) to second the motion for Singo’s re-election, to which Mayne obliged.

Mayne also questioned the future of the company if high-performing CEO Russell Tate ever departed. Carnegie revealed that STW has Tate locked in on to a 10-year contract, with his route to freedom to be found in a reduction of his day-to-day activites – just like Singo.

On the topic of Telstra, Tate was reluctant to reveal just how important the account was to the company, saying they were “certainly not the biggest,” but after some hesitation said they were in the top six or seven accounts, with the contract due to expire in October 2006.