The Oz‘s Clegg raid: more to come? Fairfax moles have reported chaos inside the badly battered Australian Financial Review following our story yesterday revealing deputy editor Brett Clegg would soon be departing for greener pastures at The Australian alongside wife Annabel Hepworth. Fairfax chief Brian McCarthy made a personal intervention to keep Clegg in the fold, a move, we’re told, that amounted to nothing. The reason for that, News insiders say, is because it was Clegg himself who approached The Australian after a savage falling out with editor-in-chief Glenn Burge. Crikey understands the AFR‘s Melbourne bureau chief, company loyalist and corporate Australia Filofax king Damon Kitney, was all set to snag Clegg’s role until a move outside the Fairfax stable reared its head. Could The Australian‘s wily editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, who used to work at the Fin, end up poaching Clegg, Hepworth and Kitney as part of a package deal? Stay tuned. — Andrew Crook

… Clegg takes with him a bulging contacts book. Brett Clegg has a good contacts list and that’s what The Australian wants to buy. But for $1.50 and a read of this morning’s CBD column in the Sydney Morning Herald‘s finance pages will produce a solid core of that contact list:

The fund-raising abilities of the Australian Financial Review journalist Annabel Hepworth have left the organisers of next month’s Dili Marathon in East Timor dumbfounded.

Hepworth, who will be running in the June 20 event, has already raised the bulk of donations made towards the event, with her ”fundometer” well and truly passing her $5000 target. By mid-afternoon yesterday, Hepworth had raised $15,500, with some high-profile corporate players helping the cause. This compares to the total of $17,085 raised for the event.

With Hepworth’s fellow journalist, husband Brett Clegg, carrying the collection tray, some of the larger donations came from Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder, Ramsay Health’s former managing director Pat Grier, Fairfax Media chief executive Brian McCarthy, Transfield Services chairman Tony Shepherd, ASX chairman David Gonski, Brambles chairman Graeme Kraehe, Gresham Partners’ Neville Spry, JPMorganer Jon Gidney, Goldman Sachser Christian Johnston, O’Sullivan Partners boss Tony O’Sullivan, former premier Nick Greiner, Macquariites Kevin McCann, Robin Bishop and Stephen Allen, and Greenhill Caliburn joint chief executive Ron Malek. Other generous donations came from the spin doctor Sue Cato and communications firm FD Third Person. Even some fellow staff at the AFR have chipped in.

Donations will go towards eight charities operating in the fledging nation. Organisers hope to attract 300-odd Australians, up to 300 other internationals and about 1000 Timorese in next month’s race. The most high-profile entrant is the former world marathon champ Robert de Castella and his squad of indigenous runners, who will later run in the Boston marathon.

That’s a good collection of high-profile business people and, of course, spinners in FD Third Person (which was all over the Seven Network-WesTrac deal) handing out exclusive interviews with Kerry Stokes to the AFR and The Australian, plus Cato of the self-styled Cato Counsel, who has spun for Pacific Brands, Telstra and Gloucester Coal, in a long list of current and former clients. — Glenn Dyer

Ellis and the $20k Monthly claim. Freelance journalist Eric Ellis has been ordered to provide details of how his claim of $20,000 against The Monthly magazine has been calculated. As reported in Crikey yesterday, Ellis is taking action against The Monthly under the Fair Trading Act over the spiking of his story on Sri Lankan refugee camps late last year. The spiking was the subject of acrimonious correspondence, and Ellis has now taken The Monthly to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

At a directions hearing yesterday morning, the tribunal ordered that by May 26 Ellis serve a document stating the basis of his claim and how the amount of $20,000 had been calculated. A compulsory conference is scheduled for August 4. — Margaret Simons

Newsweek editor poised to buy the broke title

“In today’s meeting, at which the announcement was made that Newsweek was being put up for sale by the Washington Post Company, the magazine’s editor Jon Meacham said that he will be lining up financiers and trying to make a bid to buy the magazine himself.” — The AWL

NY Times columnist admits gossip sin

“Mark Leibovich, writing about Politico in the New York Times Magazine in April, felt the need to disclose that he had known Mike Allen, the subject of his essay, for a dozen or so years, and that he was a fan of Politico. Then Leibovich went on to say, in an off-hand manner, that he had even been a source for Allen.” — Huffington Post

US siding with internet users

“US Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski has decided to re-regulate internet lines to protect net neutrality, siding with consumer groups and internet companies worried that internet providers have too much power.” — The Australian

No big Australian winner at Webby awards

“Australia and New Zealand failed to win big at this year’s Webby Awards, with AIM Proximity taking the telecommunications category for its Yellow Pages work.” — Mumbrella

Huffington Post fingers wrong man as bomber suspect

“… HuffPo journos scrambled to the social nets, found a Facebook profile of a man named ‘Faisal Shahzad’, and promptly posted his photo to the Interwebs. Problem was, it was the wrong Faisal Shahzad.” — WebNewser

Peter Fray

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