Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

It’s poaching season in the newspaper industry – the first after
many years of redundancies, belt-tightening and budget cuts – and
while some journalists are basking in the flattery (and money) the
editors are getting ugly.

Today in The Australian DD McNicoll gives Age editor Andrew Jaspan both barrels for attempting (unsuccessfully) to recruit several of the Oz‘s high profile reporters:

WEE Chucky is clearly a desperate man. His
circulation is falling, his staff are leaving in droves and he can’t
even lure people away from his rivals with offers of unimagined riches.

For those outside Melbourne, Wee Chucky is the nickname staff at The
Age
have bestowed upon diminutive Andrew Jaspan, the former editor of
The Scotsman who now runs that once proud journal. Jaspan, Diary is
reliably informed, bears an uncanny resemblance to the homicidal doll
Chucky from the horror movie Child’s Play

…Chucky has been attempting
to poach staff from The Australian and the Herald Sun. While this is by no means a complete list, Diary
knows Jaspan has duchessed the Oz‘s Katharine Murphy, Samantha Maiden,
Patrick Walters and Patricia Karvelas from Canberra, Matthew Stevens
from Sydney and Chris Dore, Michael Bachelard and Kate Legge from
Melbourne. Thus far, only Murphy has agreed to leave. Blunden told
Diary he knew Jaspan had approached several of his people in recent
weeks but hadn’t got a bite. “I haven’t lost anyone to him recently;
they just won’t go,” Blunden says.

Oz editor Chris Mitchell also makes merry at Jaspan’s expense
with this gloating ad:

But Jaspan could yet have the last
laugh. After a long courtship Jaspan this week bagged Nick McKenzie, an up-and-coming ABC
investigative reporter who’s scored some big hits reporting Melbourne’s
gangland wars. And with more appointments expected soon, Mitchell will need to watch his back awhile yet.

Peter Fray

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