Hey, that’s our dirt Today’s Media section of The Australian — Tele’s Confidential reporter shot at Sunrise:

Sarah Grant, who co-edits The Daily Telegraph‘s Sydney Confidential with Holly Byrnes, was hired to appear three times a week on Sunrise. Grant appeared live on-set with co-hosts Melissa Doyle and David Koch for about a month before she was sacked by email in the early hours of last Wednesday morning. Her sin? The Tele had published a couple of stories about an alleged rift between Mel and Kochie. They weren’t written by Grant but they appeared in her column. The executive producer of Sunrise, Adam Boland, told Grant several articles that appeared in her column suggesting that Mel and Kochie had fallen out had disappointed him. He no longer felt it was appropriate for her to continue working on Sunrise as the stars would feel uncomfortable knowing Grant was indirectly undermining them in the pages she edits. Seven has denied there is any rift between the successful pair, who were broadcasting out of Beijing for the Olympics this week. The denials were carried in both Tele reports, one by media writer Marcus Casey and another by Angela Saurine. Diary understands Grant has been unable to discuss the situation with Boland because he has refused to take her calls. She is outraged that he expected her to censor negative stories about Sunrise simply because she was on the show. But Seven sources say Boland dropped Grant because the Mel and Kochie story simply wasn’t true and Boland believed Grant knew it not to be true before publishing.

But here at Crikey, we know the real story. Boland was more concerned that his newly hired gossip reporter was pilfering her material from us. Glenn Dyer’s original dirt is here and here.

Aussie scrapes knee! (oh, and five Chinese very, very hurt) In the blizzard of Australian reportage on yesterday’s bus crash in Beijing, we can ascertain that no Australian athletes were on board the bus, that an Australian team doctor scraped their knee, and that the rowing team had to inconveniently make their way to their venue via another route.

Aussie bus crash scare Hobart Mercury, Aussie pair survive horror crash on the way to venue
Courier Mail, Rowing doctor unhurt after crash The Age, Aussie heroes save locals and Croatian in bus crash Fraser Coast Chronicle, Team doctor not hurt in bus crash Australian, Aussie medic hurt in crash
Daily Telegraph, Team medic hurt in crash Gold Coast Bulletin, Lucky escape Age, Aussie heroes help after smash Newcastle Herald, Crash injures official Herald Sun, Trio hailed as heroes after bus crash rescue Canberra Times, Lucky escape Sydney Morning Herald.

Just never mind about the four Chinese people critically injured and the bus driver with severe head injuries… — Neil Walker

Tribune co loss Tribune Co., publisher of The Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, reported a second- quarter net loss of $4.53 billion after writing down the value of its publications. The loss compared with a profit of $36.3 million a year earlier and included a $3.83 billion expense to reflect the falling value of its newspapers, the Chicago-based company said today in a filing. Sales fell 5.7 percent to $1.11 billion. Newspaper advertising sales tumbled 15 percent, Tribune said. The worsening advertising slump has made it harder for investor Sam Zell, who took Tribune private in December, to manage $12.5 billion in debt after the buyout. Zell has eliminated jobs and trimmed pages to cut costs, sold Newsday in New York and is seeking a buyer for the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The company said in June it is exploring options for headquarters buildings in Los Angeles and Chicago. — Bloomberg

Facebook gets fatter Facebook is in Lebanon. In fact, Facebook is quickly expanding in many regions. The site is the top global social network, according to figures released by comScore on Aug. 12. Of Facebook’s 132 million users, nearly 63% are outside North America. The site, which had been translated into 20 languages including French, Spanish, and Mandarin, has recently added 69 more. “Now, through translations, we are seeing a lot of growth in international countries,” says Javier Olivan, international manager at Facebook in a recent interview. — BusinessWeek

Spying on other people’s computers The good ol’ Internet: always coming up with new solutions to old problems. Modern man suspects wife is up to something. Modern man installs PC Pandora, a spyware application that records keystrokes, takes surreptitious screen shots, and monitors chat sessions—all for the low, low price of $49.95. Success! Modern man writes a congratulatory note to the company, which it posts on its “testimonials” page… — Slate

Rolling Stone shrinks Some packages like the curvaceous old Coke bottle become so iconic that they are recognizable at 30 paces. So it is with Rolling Stone, whose large format has stood out on magazine racks for more than three decades. It won’t for much longer, however. With the Oct. 30 issue, which will go on sale Oct. 17, Rolling Stone, published by Wenner Media, will adopt the standard size used by all but a few magazines.New York Times 

Israel won’t prosecute troops Reuters has said it is “deeply disturbed” that the Israeli military has decided the tank crew that killed one of the news agency’s cameramen and eight young bystanders in the Gaza Strip four months ago will not face legal action. Israel’s senior military advocate-general told the London-based news agency in a letter sent on Tuesday that the official report into the incident concluded that troops could not see whether Reuters’ Fadal Shana, 24, was operating a camera or a weapon. — The Guardian

Olympics is for reality TV fans The Olympics are for people who like reality television, individual, easily resolved, simple disposable dramas that are forgotten in a matter of days. They are not for sports fans. Sports fans enjoy history, enjoy context, enjoy the alternating joy and pain that come with following a team/player/franchise for decades on end. We are either rewarded for that devotion (Red Sox fans) or punished for it (Browns fans, Cubs fans — let’s hope). But it’s something we carry around with us every day, and always will, for the rest of our lives. After the Olympics are over, you’ll never think of Michael Phelps again. I’m gonna be stuck with my Arizona Cardinals forever. – New York Magazine

Peter Fray

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