Fairfax's famed 'rivers of gold' could dry up altogether, at least in Melbourne, with a new weekly glossy from Age turncoat Antony Catalano -- backed by the city's leading real estate players -- set to cannibalise the lucrative eastern suburbs advertising market.

The as-yet untitled Metro Media publication to take on Fairfax's Melbourne Weekly will formally launch next week, with the first edition slated to hit letterboxes by mid year. A number of production staff have already been hired to set it up. Crikey understands that more than 15 leading agents, including major players Jellis Craig, Kay & Burton, Bennison Mackinnon, Marshall White and Noel Jones have signed with the new venture.