Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

Is Fairfax’s top editorial honcho about to enter the busy revolving door that eventually deposits most of that company’s top executives onto the street?

Rumours about editorial director Mark Scott’s future have been whirling about for weeks, and today The Australian goes close to confirming them with this report on candidates for the top job at West Australian Newspapers, vacated when former head Ian Law joined ACP.

Oz media writer John Lehmann claims that Ken Steinke, who runs APN’s New Zealand publishing operations, is front-runner for the gig – then goes on to write:

Sources said John Fairfax Holdings editorial director Mark Scott had made a concerted effort to land the job, interviewing strongly and initially impressing some board members.

Another version of events has Scott pulling out of the race for the WAN top job after an initial meeting with head-hunters in Sydney. According to this theory the story is a deliberate attempt by WAN to talk up their field of candidates and Scott has no plans to move on from Fairfax.

Yet rumours persist that Scott’s departure is imminent and Crikey understands that there has been quite a bit of activity at Fairfax’s Darling Park HQ recently as execs and others who would be affected by a Scott demise position themselves for a change in the deckchair configuration at the Titanic of newspaper publishing.

Financial Review editor Glenn Burge is among those rumoured to be lobbying aggressively for Scott’s job.

Peter Fray

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