The Australian’s readers must LOVE Brittany Murphy.

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Crikey reader Rowan

Matt Preston ditches the SMAge for Rupert. The unlikely star of television smash hit MasterChef, writer-judge Matt Preston, gave Fairfax Media an unwelcome Christmas present last week when he quit the empire associated with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Nobody’s commenting but it seems protracted three-way negotiations between Preston, Fairfax and News Limited have seen the Melbourne-based dandy accept an offer to work solely for News. — The Australian

Twitter finally turns a profit. Twitter is ending 2009 on a high note. The microblogging site has reached profitability after inking $25 million of deals that make its content searchable by Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT), Bloomberg BusinessWeek has learned. — BusinesssWeek

UK politics goes down the tube. The UK looks set to have its first ever televised leader election debates after a deal was struck between the three big parties and the main broadcasters. Labour’s Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg have agreed to go head-to-head in a series of three debates. The first will be on ITV, the second on Sky and the third on the BBC. — BBC

The phoniest tabloid stories of 2009. Between Jen and Brad’s s-xting, multiple Jolie-Pitts who never materialized, and the Obamas’ baby, this was an exciting year in the tabloids. Too bad those stories were totally fake! Let’s take a look back at all “news” that never was. — Jezebel

Brittany Murphy: the first big test for Google’s new real-time search. I found that Google’s real time results often simply stopped scrolling for minutes at a time. To get them to restart, I’d have to reload the page … Overall, I found myself wishing that there was more relevancy to the real time results. — Search Engine Land

NYP all Tiger-ed out. It’s over. For the first time in nearly three weeks, Tiger Woods was not on the cover of the New York Post. Woods — or one of his “transgressions” — had graced News Corp.-owned tabloid cover for a record 20 consecutive days, one more than 9/11. — Media Alley, The Wrap

The biggest Aussie media marketing disasters of 2009. It’s been a big year of marketing disasters for some unfortunate brands, with Westpac taking the mantle as the biggest loser in Mumbrella’s top ten list of the year’s Biggest Marketing Disasters, thanks to its patronising comparison of the price of bananas with its hike in interest rates. — mUmBRELLA

Time for the SBS umpire to intervene. A hat tip to the Crikey reader who pointed out the three little words being used at the top of the Herald Sun’s special report today on that game of the world, Soccer. Obviously they don’t read Crikey editorials down at the Hun. Get ready for a tersely worded letter Rupert…

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Peter Fray

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