The Herald and Weekly Times issued threats to withdraw funding to the Melbourne Press Club if it went ahead with a proposal to launch Bruce Guthrie's best-selling book Man Bites Murdoch, according to the distinguished former editor of the Herald Sun.

In an aside towards the end of a speech on the future of newspapers at Melbourne's Wheeler Centre yesterday, Guthrie revealed the Club, which hosts the annual Quill Awards and receives $20,000 in annual sponsorship from News Limited, was strong-armed after Murdoch-aligned committee members arced up.