Schembri chooses to ditch last drinks. Last night at 6.46pm, Age editor Paul “Rambo” Ramadge released the following statement on film critic Jim Schembri’s future:


After 28 years of dedicated service and hard work bringing a distinctive voice to The Age’s entertainment coverage as a film and TV critic and feature writer, Jim has decided to embrace other challenges. I’m sure all staff will join me in thanking Jim for his contribution to the paper and in wishing him well. Jim has chosen to forego farewell drinks and will arrange an informal gathering soon.

Crikey broke the news that Schembri was exiting his Age duties a week ago, after a series of previous reports detailing repeated instances where the buff had dobbed on his Twitter critics to their employers and hinted at taking legal action with the backing of Fairfax Media. From there, the signs pointing to a brave new career path grew stronger. On Sunday afternoon, in his regular 3AW slot with Tom Elliott, Schembri was introduced as “Australia’s leading independent film reviewer”.

Then on Monday, The Australian‘s media section picked up on the yarn. Later that day, at 1.17pm, Schembri — who still lists The Age as his employer on his Twitter account — posted a cryptic message to the microblogging service: “SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Please do not believe any reports you read about me in the media. An accurate statement will be issued very shortly.” Daily Telegraph blogger Tim Blair took that to mean that maybe Schembri hadn’t left after all.

Age staff have a reacted curiously to the official announcement. On Twitter, crack education editor Jewel Topsfield asked the question on everyone’s lips: “@jimschembri hey Jim, why are you leaving? Have you got a new gig?”. Another Media House insider said they were yet to receive word on the whereabouts of the casual shindig to celebrate their colleague’s career. — Andrew Crook

Front page of the day. A poignant front page from Belgium’s Gazet Van Antwerpen Kempen after the bus crash in Switzerland that killed 22 schoolchildren and six adults, many of whom were from Belgium.

End of Sunday Nights for Mike Munro

“He came out of ‘retirement’ to co-host Sunday Night with Chris Bath, then stepped aside to file stories on the road  — but Mike Munro is no longer part of the current affairs show for Seven.” — TV Tonight

No money in newspapers, but plenty in online deals

“Trinity Mirror, which reported a 40% profits fall today, is moving into the online daily deals sector. It is launching an online daily deals business called “happli”, which enables people who register with its website to buy discounted goods.” — The Guardian

MTV the new MySpace?

“On Thursday, at the South by Southwest festival here, Van Toffler, the veteran MTV executive who is the president of MTV Networks’ Music and Logo Group at Viacom, announced Artists.MTV, a project to let musicians “claim” and customize their pages among the thousands on MTV’s site.” — The New York Times

Wrong stop for Subway ad

“Journalist and TV presenter Sarah Wilson has asked Subway to withdraw a radio ad for the product prominently featuring her name … In the ad created by Publicis Mojo Brisbane, a character says: ‘Sure I envy Sarah Wilson. Not because of her glowing hair or flawless skin and perfect legs, dress sense or rich boyfriend. If there’s one thing I’d trade places for it’s her low fat Subway sweet chilli chicken sub.'” — Mumbrella

Can you tell the difference between a music or net geek?

“The cultural season has turned here at the South By Southwest Festival, now on day seven. With the end of SXSW Interactive on Tuesday, the internet obsessives shipped out and were replaced yesterday by the cool kids of SXSW Music. Can you tell the difference between rival camps?” — Gawker

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey