Walkleys overlook Michael Smith. Walkley Award judges have made a massive oversight: Michael Smith’s entry of an interview with Craig Thomson has failed to make the cut. We’re reliably informed the in-limbo 2UE shock jock — currently suing the station for being fired over his determination to air allegations over Julia Gillard’s union links, even though he remains on the payroll — entered the chat in the broadcast interviewing category.

Our mole wasn’t sure if Smith entered the awards independently or with 2UE before his on-air suspension. “Nonetheless,” they note, “his absence from the short list for the Walkleys was noted here with some level of amusement.” As worthy as his entry might have been given the political ramifications of Thomson’s statements on air, we’re told Smith put plenty of noses out of joint at the station by forcing Fairfax to the courts over his sidelining, not to mention his conduct around dredging up the Gillard dirt file.

Ten puts off its profits call. It’s probably all very innocent, but without explanation the Ten Network has postponed the announcement of its 2010-11 financial results from this Friday to next week on October 27. Ten balances on August 31, so it can’t be accounting issues at play. As one tipster notes, postponing profit announcements isn’t a good look in companies where there has been significant boardroom, shareholder and management changes (as there certainly have been at Ten in the past 11 months) and where the network’s TV ratings are floundering.

Will The Slap pay off for the ABC? Now that ABC TV business head Chris Oliver-Taylor has quit the broadcaster to work at independent producer Matchbox Pictures, some Aunty folk are asking if he’s left the ABC in the lurch. Says one: “As the key executive in charge of negotiations for The Slap and other recent ABC-commissioned content, is anyone asking how Matchbox managed to get such a cosy deal, retaining nearly all distribution rights, despite the ABC’s generous investment? Great series but where’s the return on investment?”

Suncorp takes grease monkeys to Vegas? It seems Suncorp has learnt from NRMA Insurance’s disastrous attempts to rein in motor repair costs, which had Alan Jones rallying “ordinary Australians” behind the repairers and saw a number of senior IAG executives fall on their swords. Suncorp — which includes the GIO, AAMI, Apia and Bingle insurance brands — has apparently been wooing the motor repairers for the last year as it brings in its own motor repair shops to undercut the market. We’re told the latest move involves a “fact finding tour” for motor repairers to Las Vegas before Christmas. Who’d have thought that Las Vegas was such a hub for the latest in panel beating and spray painting?

Policy Forum in factional play. More on the internal battle among Labor hacks for a seat at the NSW Policy Forum. Ian McNamara has been spamming party members, as we reported yesterday, and yesterday fired off this email to his list:

Dear XXXXX,

As Labor members we want our leaders to focus on developing good policy, not to be distracted by mindless polls and internal politics.

Recent challenges have left many Labor members and supporters uninspired and feeling that our great party has lost its way.

It’s time for Labor to rise above polls and politics to take on the big issues confronting our nation.

We need to rekindle the policy ambition of Whitlam, Hawke and Keating.

As a candidate for the NSW Labor Policy Forum I am campaigning to restore this focus on policy development. This means taking on the big issues such as public transport, climate change, housing affordability, productivity growth and youth unemployment.

This is your chance to vote for more policy and less politics.

Let’s work together to build a new Labor policy agenda we can believe in. I would love to hear your ideas, so please get in touch with me by email, Facebook or Twitter.

Ian McNamara.
Candidate for NSW Labor Policy Forum

Hypocritical? As one insider notes: “I find it highly ironic that Joe Tripodi’s numbers man from Fairfield would be running on a platform of less politics, more policy. In fact, it’s widely rumoured that Tripodi is delivering his local votes to get McNamara up onto the forum in the first place.”

Flags don’t fly for Queen’s arrival. Live from a Canberra bus, a Crikey reader reports: “We had flags on the bridges for the PNG PM last week — but not for Queen today. Republican sentiment in the protocol office?” Surely not.

Peter Fray

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