Peter Chernin has proved to be irreplaceable for News Corp and Murdoch. When Peter Chernin “ran” News Corp, he reported to 78 year old Rupert Murdoch. Now Chernin is leaving at the end of June with a fat film contract and over $UA150 million of Rupert’s money over the past five years, the chairman has been forced to restructure the Fox film and TV businesses to set up a far more complicating reporting system.

With changes in structure and reporting, plus an exit or two, Murdoch will have three people reporting to him in place of Chernin. The changes were contained in this announcement from News and the really important details on who will report to Murdoch was in the final paragraph.

Fox film and TV production will be combined under Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman (a classic Murdoch tactic of setting two senior managers to fight for control). TV Newtorks will be headed up by Tony Vincipueraa but Peter Liquori, who headed Fox Broadcasting is leaving (Is he taking the rap for the plunge in earnings at Fox-owned stations in the 4th quarter that saw operating profits fall $US227 million to $US18 million?)
No successor was named for Chernin, or will be, according to US and local media reports. — Glenn Dyer

Ah The Australian ‘s Cut and Paste! Mad one day, f-king insane the next . Today’s first entry was self-referential, quoting Robert Manne, from his essay on the collpase of neoliberalism: “In its daily compendium of schadenfreude and spleen, Cut and Paste for its part attempted to discredit Rudd…” headlining the snippet “Intellectual renames Cut and Paste”. Say what? No, he described it. If he’d renamed it, he wouldn’t have called it “cut and paste”. Who put this together, the workie? Whoever, it was no intellectual. — Kim Serca

The Age , predictive obiturists:

Fairfax’s mutually co-operative GFC. Talk of Easter Fairfax redundancies lingers, but meantime, Age editor Paul Ramadge is doing what he can to trim the wages bill. This memo went to all Age editorial staff yesterday:

Part-time work

This week senior editors have started talking with staff about the option of volunteering to convert to part-time work.

These are mutually cooperative talks — another important initiative in these tighter financial times.

Part-time work is unlikely to suit everyone. However, some staff have already requested a three- or four-day working week.

If you would like to be considered for a move to a shorter working week, please see the senior editor in your area.

Arrangements can be made to suit individual needs, if the suggestions fit into the overall requirements of the department.

Paul Ramadge

Peter Rice to head Fox network. In a broad shake up of senior News Corp. management, Fox Searchlight film chief Peter Rice is being put in charge of the Fox television network. The move elevates a low-key executive. who has been responsible for shepharding some of the studio’s most successful movies, into one of the most visible positions inside the company. Rice has no experience in television, but has shown himself adept at turning low-budget films such as Juno and the recent Oscar winner Slumdog Milllionaire into mainstream commericial successes. — LA Times

Sesame Workshop cuts staff by 20% . Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of Sesame Street and other kids’ programs, says it’s cutting 20 percent of its work force because of the recession. The company says it’s eliminating 67 of 355 staff positions. Best known as the home of such characters as Big Bird and Elmo, Sesame Workshop was founded in 1968 and debuted Sesame Street a year later. That series, which remains on the air, grew into a production empire including TV, books and online programing. — Variety

Standard may be floated, Lebedev reveals during Gorbachev visit . Alexander Lebedev, the new proprietor of the London Evening Standard, brought former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to the newspaper’s offices this morning as he revealed he may in future float the title on the stock exchange. Lebedev later revealed that the Standard could eventually be floated, saying that would enable him to hand shares in the company, which he bought from Associated Newspapers earlier this year, to its staff. — Guardian

Ann Coulter’s book sales head south. Though never exactly shy, Ann Coulter has been especially noisy in her self-promotion lately, inventing a beef with NBC News, arguing with Keith Olbermann over the meaning of a Cornell degree and taking her act on the road with Bill Maher as foil. Could it be because she’s worried she’s losing our attention? Coulter’s latest book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America , is something of a misfire by Coulterian standards. — Portfolio

Creeping onto the front covers of magazines: paid ads. As tough times send some publishers running for cover, marketers are running advertisements on the covers of some publications. The April issue of Scholastic Parent & Child, scheduled to come out on Monday, will carry an ad on the front cover for the first time in the 16-year history of the magazine. The ad, for a company called Smilebox, will appear in the lower right corner of the cover and carry the label “advertisement” in small type. — New York Times

For sale, one corporate jet. Gently used. Good for personal getaways as well as corporate assignments. Inquire at The New York Times Co. The Times Co. annual meeting proxy, filed with the SEC Wednesday, lets slip that the company is selling its corporate aircraft, which is not otherwise described. Seems that the perk line item for Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. includes $11,189 for “the personal use of the corporate aircraft on one occasion.” — Editor and Publisher

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey