Fin goes on its own raid to replace defectors. Normality is slowly returning to the Australian Financial Review newsroom following Friday’s chaos that saw its entire leadership group jumping ship to embrace the booming business offering at bitter rivals The Australian. Editor-in-chief Glenn Burge, whose savage falling out with deputy editor Brett Clegg, Clegg’s wife Annabel Hepworth and Melbourne bureau chief Damon Kitney led to their departures, held his 51st birthday at his partly renovated Sydney home on Saturday night. It is not known whether guests were regaled with the diminutive chief’s views on Australian editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, who Crikey understands was central to the raid.

Burge is apparently attempting to lure a clutch of the paper’s former “stars” back to the fold in the wake of the walkout. Former telco writer Christine Lacy from corporate spinners FD Third Person, former Rear Window editor Lachlan Johnston, currently working in PR in London, former news editor Bernard O’Riordan, now a corporate media trainer, and former companies reporter Luke Collins, now working at McKinsey in New York, are all said to be in Burge’s sights.

On Friday afternoon, the paper announced BRW editor-in-chief Sean Aylmer would take Clegg’s role, with Robert Guy promoted to deputy editor (business) and overseas import and companies editor Aaron Patrick tapped to helm the news role vacated by Hepworth. And is Fairfax Business Media head honcho Michael Gill also getting itchy feet? His LinkedIn profile reveals he recently joined the headhunter group Lumina Search & Selection: Senior and Board Level Media Appointments. — Andrew Crook

Boozle muddles Google-Groggle shemozzle. Google has been granted a one-month extension by IP Australia to the deadline for filing an objection to the registration of Groggle, a trademark dispute previously reported by Crikey. Groggle’s Cameron Collie told his lawyers have explained how Groggle could avoid any confusion with Google through measures such as adding a disclaimer to the website and using a different colour scheme. Meanwhile, the battle has become more complicated as a trademark objection has now been lodged by Boozle, which also offers a location-based service for comparing alcohol prices. — Stilgherrian

The Oz sledges five years too late. It seems the savvy watchdogs over at The Australian’s well-read media section have been struggling with the concept of “best of”. Last Monday in the wake of the Logies, Crikey re-ran a Glenn Dyer piece from May 3, 2005 as part of our regular 10th birthday section This Day in Crikey, which made reference to the former head of PBL and ACP John Alexander. “It would be a simple thing for…Alexander, to order the release of votes: to have them counted and fully audited independent of TV Week,” Dyer wrote five years ago.

Someone at The Australian, presumably Diary editor Amanda Meade, thought the veteran journo had got facts wrong — Alexander, of course, retired in 2008 — prompting this snarky sledge this morning in her “Talking Turkeys” roast:

10-05-2010 12-09-46 PM

Following an early morning email from Dyer, The Australian’s web team pulled the item but it was, of course, far too late to save the paper’s 135,000 print editions. — Andrew Crook

Retired, but not forgotten. University of Melbourne senior spin doctor Christina Buckridge has announced her “retirement” — according to the institution — but not before she embarks on a lush seven-week sojourn to the Continent. Crikey will miss Buckridge’s feisty responses to our many stories on the Melbourne Uni’s controversial Melbourne Model, in which some Harvard-approved pedagogy was used as a smokescreen, in our opinion, for jacking up the numbers of full-fee paying students.

Here is the email sent by Buckridge to university staffers on Saturday afternoon, which had a distinct “by the time you read this” vibe:

Dear friends and colleagues,

Tomorrow I am on a plane to Paris — and Provence, Barcelona and the south of Spain — for seven weeks and will be back in the University for just a week on 28 June before permanently departing.

Diane Squires will be handling Corporate Affairs issues until 7 June when John Dubois, the new Director of Corporate Affairs arrives.

It is not known how Buckridge plans to spend her new found freedom after she returns to Melbourne. — Andrew Crook

Borders jumps on the ebook reader bandwagon

“Add Borders to the list of booksellers that has its own ebook reader. With the ‘Kobo’, Borders joins Amazon with the Kindle and Barnes & Noble with the Nook in the battle for the non-iPad-ebook-reader market. — The Next Web

Pro-Tory press pushes for Cameron in No.10

“Over the next couple of days, through the period of negotiations, there will be a concerted effort by the right-wing papers backing David Cameron to get their man into No.10.” — The Guardian

Israeli government appoints spokesman for Arabic media

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau is upgrading its public diplomacy efforts with the appointment of an Arabic-language spokesman. Ofir Gendelman, formerly the Arabic media spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign affairs, will from now on be entrusted with getting Israel’s message out in Arabic too.” — Los Angeles Times

Chavez joins Twitter — hires 200 to manage account

“Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, who only recently signed up to Twitter, has rapidly risen up the rankings to become the top tweeter in the country, despite having previously described the service as a ‘tool of terror’. The leader has also hired hundreds of staff to reply to tweets.” — Mashable

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey