Vega Sydney clean out No wonder DMG Radio Australia is cleaning out its Sydney Vega radio station and turning it into a low cost rebroadcast operation. The group has revealed that its breakfast duo, Tony Squires and Mikey Robbins, will not have their contracts renewed this month and they will join co-host Rebecca Wilson who leaves on October 30.

The reason for the clean out was revealed a couple of days before the news of the Vega move became known last Friday. In a trading update issued in London DMG’s owners, The Daily Mail and General Trust said: “DMG Radio Australia’s underlying revenues in the period fell by 2%, reflecting the weakening of the radio advertising market in Australia which has declined 4%. DMGRA expects to increase its operating profit for the full year due to cost savings.”

So Mikey Robbins, Tony Squires and Rebecca Wilson are now known as “cost savings”. So low cost will Vega become in Sydney that many of the announcers won’t be telling listeners their names. News weather and time, plus traffic information will be the only words heard.

Vega’s breakfast slot (the most expensive in any station) is the lowest rating of all the FM stations in Sydney with around 3.3% of the audience. According to station management, listeners want more music and less chat at breakfast. I know how they feel some mornings. — Glenn Dyer

Rupert dips his toe in the water. The News International decision to launch Times+ is an interesting introduction to the group’s charging-for-access plans, a toe in the water if you like. What are its chances of success for this latest Rupert Murdoch initiative? Well, as with any publication that seeks to persuade people to pay, it’s all about the value of the content. As good ol’ Mr Sumner Redstone likes to say: “Content is king.” — Greenslade blog

Condé Nast to close Gourmet, Cookie and Modern Bride. Condé Nast will close Gourmet magazine, a magazine of almost biblical status in the food world, it was announced on Monday. Gourmet has been published since December 1940. Also being shut down are the Condé Nast magazines Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, according to an internal company memo that also was sent to reporters Monday. — Media Decoder, NY Times

Try community service, Conde Naste. While the food world is consoling itself with a big block of Belgian dark chocolate after Condé Nast announced it would be closing Gourmet (Bon Appétit survived the McKinsey & Company chopping block), yummy mummies will gather in coffee shops to collectively lament the closure of their beloved Cookie… Profits, schmofits… why do bad things have to happen to little magazines women love, like Cookie and Domino just because they’re not perceived as economically viable? I mean, really, how about some community service, Conde Nast?Girl with a Satchel

You should BUY THIS SHOW! This pitch got The Muppet Show on cableTV. The big networks all passed on it…and probably kicked themselves for doing it. Yep, watch here for the original pitch for The Muppet Show — brought to you by a muppet newsreader. — YouTube

When phish attack! Microsoft today confirmed that thousands of Windows Live Hotmail account usernames and passwords had leaked to the Internet, but said the credentials were “likely” stolen in a phishing attack. — Computer world

On the internet, everyone’s a critic but they’re not very critical. One of the Web’s little secrets is that when consumers write online reviews, they tend to leave positive ratings: The average grade for things online is about 4.3 stars out of five. — WSJ

“People’s” Tweets expand to pets. is the newest addition to the Time Inc. family and its Twitter feed plays to a tune of more than 700,000 followers. Hundreds of thousands of sympathetic animal lovers followed the link to Jessica Simpson’s unfortunate “coyote took her dog” story and of course, retweeted their friends. —Min Online

Why big books still matter. Sarah Palin’s memoir demonstrates the power of the book-as-talisman … With a big personality book, having read the book is far less important than owning it. These books are talismans, powerful objects that carry the aura of the person they’re associated with. That aura doesn’t attach to an e-book. You need something more substantial, at least something physical. — The Big Money

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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