Just months after axing its successful investment magazine Shares,
the alarm bells are ringing again at the troubled Fairfax Business
Media. Tony Featherstone, rising Fairfax star and managing editor of
its flagship magazine BRW, has quit.

We’ve been told
that the official line from Fairfax Business is that Featherstone is
taking 18 months’ leave and will return after his break as a writer. But
sources from inside Fairfax Business say this outcome is unlikely.

It seems BRW
has been under increasing pressure since Fairfax money man Andrew
Birmingham – more officially known as Associate Publisher Magazines – was sent down from Sydney to tighten the screws on the
business arm’s budget.

And it appears that Featherstone, who most recently re-launched Fairfax’s CFO
magazine to focus on global finance markets and capital raisings for
senior finance professionals, simply grew tired of continually
struggling with the Fairfax regime.

The highly regarded young editor was instrumental in founding Fairfax Business’s successful online investor newsletter Shares Weekly, as well as Shares magazine, which became one of Australia’s most successful publications with more than 280,000 readers.

But Fairfax has since jettisoned both projects after rolling Shares and stable mate Personal Investor into one publication, AFR Smart Investor.

Maybe there’s another BRW list story in all this? Ten ways to keep your job as a business journalist while slashing costs.