One of the top economic commentating gigs in the country is coming up for grabs – economics editor on The Australian, presently held by Alan Wood, who is due to retire shortly.

Speculation is growing about his replacement. BRW editor and current economics writer, David Uren, would have to be a contender, but some cautious folk in News Ltd’s Canberra bureau say a small wager on Michael Stutchbury, the paper’s current editor, might be of some value. If Stutchbury did get the gig, it would set off a chain of changes at The Australian.

Then there’s the suggestion that the new EE, like Wood, should be based in Melbourne. But that ignores the fact that Sydney is the centre of the economic policy-making universe, with a strong link down the Hume Highway to Canberra from the Reserve Bank in Martin Place.

When Wood goes he will be the second high profile columnist this year to retire from Rupert’s national daily. Bob Gottliebsen stepped down at the end of June because of retirement policy reasons regarding superannuation, although he says he’ll be back at a lesser pace next year.

Peter Fray

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