Wayne Swan gives advertising a boost. The media sales crowd must be celebrating. The Treasurer’s attack on the super rich, via his essay published in the current edition of The Monthly, was always going to result in some retaliation from the billionaires in the best way they know how — by giving back to the newspapers.

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals has done just that, buying up space in Fairfax and News Limited papers this morning to publish a personal letter from Fortescue’s deputy chairman Herb Elliott calling Swan’s attack on Forrest and his ilk an attack on the Fortescue board, executives, employees and shareholders. Clive Palmer, meanwhile, went for the cheaper option: an opinion piece published on Fairfax’s online opinion portal in which he calls Swan an “intellectual pygmy”. Guess those are the privileges a National Living Treasure gets to enjoy.

New boss for Optus. Singapore Telecommunications’ announcement this morning that it will soon overhaul its business into three distinct units will result in a reshuffle at the top of Optus. With current Optus boss Paul O’Sullivan to head over to the parent company to look after Singtel’s consumer business, current chief operating officer Kevin Russell will take the helm of Optus as Consumer CEO for Australia.

The move sure proves that Russell knows how to climb the career ladder fast: he was only appointed COO in January.

Mike Quigley after the impossible candidate. It’s been seven months since Jean-Pascal Beaufret announced his resignation as the chief financial officer of NBN Co. And yet NBN chief Mike Quigley admits in the Australian Financial Review today that he’s still unable to find a suitable replacement.

Could the desired skills be the problem? Quigley wants a CFO with “resiliency, armour and resiliency”. They must also “know about everything”. Non-resilient candidates need not apply.

One to watch: 2GB in court over defo. The fallout from what was said during the Cronulla riots continues today, with Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, taking on 2GB in the High Court. The defamation case concerns comments made by then 2GB (now 2UE) broadcaster Jason Morrison about Trad on the day after the 2005 riots.

Harbour Radio Pty Limited Vs Trad is due to be heard before the full court at 2.15pm.

Peter Fray

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