Artful cuts in NSW budget. Arts organisations are preparing for funding cuts in next week’s NSW state budget. Crikey understands Arts NSW is quietly briefing key groups to expect the worst when the budget is handed down on Tuesday. In Tasmania, the state theatre company and other organisations have had all their state government funding withdrawn, local press report today.

Now Bolt in Monthly profile. Last month it was Australian editor Chris Mitchell and now The Monthly will profile another controversial News Limited figure — Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt. Editor Ben Naparstek confirms that Anne Summers is penning a piece for the October edition. “I haven’t seen the copy,” Naparstek told us today, “so there’s nothing I can say other than that I know Anne is working hard on it and as one of the country’s leading journalists she will, I’m sure, do a terrific job.” So what juicy personal details will Summers uncover? We wait with bated breath.

Nine News EP goes from Perth. Nine News in Perth has lost its executive producer. We’ve confirmed Rob Broun quit last week after two decades with the WIN-owned station. His last day hasn’t been decided yet. It comes after a string of on-air departures, led by weeknights anchor Dixie Marshall in May (she’s joined the WA government media office), long-time sports presenter Michael Thomson and reporters Jessica Strutt and Nadia Mitsopoulos. One insider reports the under-performing station may be looking to downsize further, with talk of somehow merging news operations with the WIN regional network.

Gosford announcement a pipe dream. Federal Ageing Minister Mark Butler — not Nicola Roxon, as we foolishly told you yesterday — made it to Gosford last night to speak on aged care. This was the session that nobody was told about, including the many aged-care residents in the area. “Even the few ALP members in Robertson who did know about the visit weren’t told either until AFTER the RSVP closing date,” our local spy reports.

And this: “The major water-pipe official opening is on today without (according to the local Dobell area paper) the usual suspects turning up. They reproduce a photo of Craig, Albanese and Rudd all smiles in front of a few trees when the project was announced, but no one as important as them will be there to be photographed in front of the finished project.”

Construction company laying off. A large estate construction company is set to downsize its workforce by one third, according to a caller to the 3AW Rumour File this morning. About 100 labourers will be impacted. So, which company?

OK, fine, the Queen’s staying put. Look, we didn’t say yesterday’s left-field tip on a royal abdication was founded. We just threw it out there. As one reader points out on Liz’s plans: “Why would she abdicate before 2012? She is busily preparing for her diamond jubilee next year. She still has Queen Vic’s record to beat. Not before, maybe during, but one doubt’s that possibility. This lady is not for turning.”

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey