Gyngell tunes into Crown. What does Nine boss David Gyngell know about gambling? The question arises after his appointment to the board of Crown yesterday. Was it a case of mate James Packer looking after mate David? It also raises the question about how much influence Mr Packer still has at Nine, even though he sold out. Will Nine programs like 60 Minutes and ACA go hard on the evils of gambling, as Seven’s TT has done (with the obvious target of belting Packer)?

There’s an immediate test. Watch to see if ACA covers today’s Productivity Commission final report on gambling and, if they do, how they cover it and who they interview. Watch also to see if TT covers it as well. Seven owner Kerry Stokes and Packer now control Consolidated Media Holdings, the pay TV investor. — Glenn Dyer

Sales down, but Tele rates up. The Daily Telegraph and its Sunday edition, The Sunday Telegraph, have upped advertising rates by up to 4% despite falling circulation. In the first three months of 2010, circulation of The Daily Telegraph fell by 3% (11,000 readers) according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Yet, in a letter to advertisers seen by Crikey, the advertising display rate for both papers has risen 4% while classifieds have risen by 3%.

“Our commitment to maintaining leadership for both brands is evidence by our ongoing investment in product development, promotional and marketing support,” writes Iain Schmidt-Weichert, the advertising director across both tabloids. “It is positive to reflect that our newspapers continue to lead and innovate and we trust that The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph continue to drive results for your business in the new financial year.” The Tele outsells Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald by some 140,000 copies Monday to Friday, he says. — Crikey intern Michael Carter

Cato’s on the case — for mining and disgraced CEOs. Crikey‘s favourite publicist Sue Cato is still spinning for the mining industry, just six weeks after declaring on air to Deborah Cameron’s ABC 702 Sydney show that she wasn’t “working for any miners” amid a heated debate on the RSPT. On Monday, Cato sent out this press release on behalf of Gloucester Coal’s independent directors, recommending that shareholders accept Noble Coal’s $1 billion takeover bid, despite earlier declarations her employment was “finished”.

It’s the second time Cato has returned to the world of iron ore after her radio faux pas. On May 28, Crikey revealed that Cato’s name and mobile phone number had been attached to another Gloucester release issued by the independent directors earlier that week.

Cato has also been earning big bikkies contradicting reports in the Sydney Morning Herald that disgraced David Jones boss Mark McInnes had travelled first class to the French and/or Italian Riviera to attend a wedding in Portofino following his dumping last Friday. The stories were “not true” thundered Cato, on McInnes’ behalf. Business class to a Thai resort was apparently much closer to the mark. — Andrew Crook

A new shade? The Oz has a source. The Australian had the scoop, but buried it in a photo caption: “Kevin Rudd during question time yesterday with his deputy, Julia Gillard, who is said to have opted for a darker shade of red hair.” Who said…?


A Rolling Stone gathers no moss on McChrystal scoop

“Rolling Stone didn’t just let their cat out of the bag, they practically coaxed the cat into performing tricks in public, available to be witnessed at nearly every other media outlet in the world before the magazine actually decided to stake its own claim to its own story on its own website.” — Huffington Post

Fairfax sold short

“Fairfax Media has been outed as the most shorted stock on the ASX in the corporate watchdog’s first daily report of short positions.” — The Australian

And then there were two — in distribution

“Magazine distribution in Australia is to become a two horse race with the Michael Hannan-owned NDD closing its doors.” — mUmBRELLA

Australia’s Underbelly the new Sopranos?

“…it seems appropriate that the TV executive who launched that seminal HBO mob hit now plans to remake Underbelly for U.S. audiences.” — New York Magazine

Wolff schooled by a 15-year-old

“Yesterday, media pundit and Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff embarrassed himself when he accused the famed and controversial NYU professor, writer, and scholar Tony Judt of fabricating an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times written by Judt and his 15 year-old son on the grounds that no 15 year-old could write like Judt’s son did.” — The Village Voice

Lindsay’s tweeting for her supper

“Lindsay Lohan really likes Twitter. So she has capitalized on her talents and, for a change, hasn’t screwed it up. It appears that she’s running ads on her Twitter account. For $10,000?” — Gawker

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey