Col Allan’s return to earth. A curious line from Mark Day, media columnist and News Limited favourite, in The Australian today:

“News that Col Allan, editor of The New York Post and former editor of The Daily Telegraph, has been in Sydney over the past few days has stimulated conjecture that he may return to look after the News Limited print assets.

“Officially, Col has been on a short trip to farewell his old journo mate Harto. But the notion of a return to Australia after a dozen years abroad has a certain logic. While orchestrating the switch to Williams as chief executive, News boss Rupert Murdoch installed himself as chairman of the Australian company, presumably to keep a close eye on the transition. Putting Allan in charge of the newspapers while Williams concentrates on developing the digital businesses would appear to cover all bases. But this remains pure speculation.”

Pure speculation, perhaps. But Day is well-connected at Holt Street and presumably knows something. It’s the last thing new CEO Kim Williams needs, as he attempts to put his own stamp on the company.

Allan — of taking-Kevin-Rudd-to-a strip-club fame — is a firebrand who will have his own strong ideas on running the place (you can read about some of Allan’s greatest hits at The Power Index). We asked News Limited spinner Greg Baxter to comment but haven’t heard back … — Jason Whittaker

Herald Sun‘s %#@% of a quizmaster. Kudos to eagle-eyed Crikey reader “Tony Cupcakes” for pointing out to us this interesting Quiz Master on page four of today’s Herald Sun. You’d think they’d make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen …

Front page of the day. Things are heating up in UK politics after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg publicly disagreed with PM David Cameron, who wielded Britain’s veto at last week’s European Council summit:

The Department of Corrections. Meanwhile, the The Guardian corrected the record in its December 9 edition after getting its arithmetic wrong …

AFR ‘revolution’ admits ‘we weren’t good enough’

The Australian Financial Review today carries a message to readers from publisher Brett Clegg and editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury acknowledging that the newspaper needed to raise its game.” — mUmBRELLA

Another call to merge ABC and SBS

“Outgoing chairman of the ABC, Maurice Newman has told The Australian that ABC and SBS should be merged.” — TV Tonight

Stuart Littlemore argues case on ABC CSG ‘bias’

“Former Media Watch host Stuart Littlemore QC is of the opinion that an ABC website examining the coal-seam gas industry is factually wrong, in breach of the ABC code of conduct and written by journalists who appear biased against CSG.” — The Australian

David Blunkett in secret NI payout over phone-hack claims

“Rupert Murdoch’s News International has approved a confidential payout to the former home secretary David Blunkett over allegations that his phone was hacked.” — The Guardian

Hollywood Reporter editor shot, recalls incident

THR.com photo editor Chris Godley was shot by a gunman in Hollywood on Friday morning, but was only grazed by a bullet and not seriously injured in an incident that was captured on video by witnesses and widely circulated on the Internet.” — The Hollywood Reporter

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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