The minister and the chicken sanger food fight. Yet more staff losses in federal ALP ministerial offices as one minister seems to have a serious problem controlling their temper. An issue over a hand-delivered lunch seems to have ended in an office food fight, however only The Boss was throwing pieces of the freshly-made lunch back in the stunned worker’s face. Clearly a case of enough is finally enough — the bedraggled PA no longer wants to work in what any decent labour lawyer would call an abusive workplace. So the hot tip to all future staff: this minister DOES NOT eat cold chicken, hot chicken only.

PayPal asks non-profits for more data. It seems that it’s not just WikiLeaks that has had money suspended by PayPal recently, claiming anti-terrorism laws. The Ethical Consumer Guide and several other non-profit organisations have been asked to provide copious amounts of personal data. Some have given up after six months plus of negotiating. It seems to be a tidy little business strategy for them — all that extra interest plus sometimes you get to keep the cash too!

What’s happening at AV Jennings? Very odd share price movement in AV Jennings on Friday. It is a stock rarely traded. On Friday, the price went from 53 cents to 60 cents. There were just 16 trades on 99,000 shares. It is rumoured in the marketplace someone is manipulating the share price. I am a share jockey in Sydney and this is what I heard late Friday. The last trade of 7000 shares at 60 cents — up 4 cents on the 56 on offer — is very strange. (Shares dropped slightly to 58 cents this morning.)

Nine bones Brisbane studio staff. The Nine Network is said to be planning further cost cuts at QTQ9 in Brisbane with the aim of reducing it to just a “slave” station of Sydney. It is shutting much of its studio operations, sacking (“boning” in old Nine parlance) eight people. Presentation will close mid-year, meaning all the program broadcasting will be controlled from network control in Sydney. That means the Nine News from Brisbane will be broadcast to Sydney, then rebroadcast from there back to Brisbane and the rest of Queensland through WIN and NBN (which Nine controls anyway). The cuts raise questions about how long the QTQ 6pm News will be maintained at its current staffing level, or at all. The cuts also mean that Nine will have the smallest staffing and weakest presence in Brisbane of all the networks, especially compared to Seven and the ABC.

Rudd visits The Oz‘s conservative cabal. What with Chris Kenny, chief of staff to Alexander Downer, now employed by The Australian to write columns and editorials, along with a cabal of conservative commentators it was pretty frosty last week when Kevin Rudd came in to News Limited Holt Street HQ. To say the least.

Sunday freebie for SMH subscribers. Much trumpet-blowing in the Fairfax press over the 0.1% rise in sales of the Sun Herald in Sydney. I wonder how much of this “increased sale” is due to the fact that all the existing Monday to Saturday SMH home delivery subscribers have been given a “free” upgrade to seven-day-a week delivery?

Peter Fray

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