From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Shhhhh. We hear that the Australian HR manager for a very large company has been “sacked for inappropriate behaviour”. We’re not going to say which company, but this was its response to Tips’ inquiry: “[The company] does not comment on rumour or speculation. Kind regards.” Fobbed off! If you know more, send us a little anonymous email … we’d love to know what the “inappropriate behaviour” was.

The best bits. We’ve had plenty of feedback from fellow newspaper readers who get enraged (or puzzled) when their inserts are missing (see Tips yesterday). According to our readers, The Australian is the prime culprit for missing inserts, while there are also reports of Fairfax readers missing out.

The Saturday Age‘s Life & Style section is regularly misprinted with pages missing — and even if it’s all there, it’s sometimes placed to one side in a separate pile, so easy to miss! Tips suggests that all savvy newspaper reader should leaf through the papers before buying. This comes from a tipster called “another lost customer”:

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“Friday’s Australian had a front page advertisement for a magazine Swish [Wish?] supplement, part of which was promoting the Bond movie. No such magazine was included. I understand that The Australian no longer includes such items in its Western Australian and Tasmanian editions. Given the paper is incomplete, where do I claim my reduction for my two dollars? PS. maybe the editor thought its readers couldn’t afford the Bond Orlebar Brown George Caddy swimmers at $385 a pair.”

Banner ad from the front page of The Australian on Friday. But where was the insert?

A reader north of the border had this to say, re. our tip about The Weekend Australian in Melbourne lacking its inner organs:

“I live on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland and I too could not find a Weekend Australian edition with the Australian Magazine insert but I did have the Review;  I’m at the other end of the country so I wonder what is going on, particularly as the newspaper was promoting its magazine and the fact that it had won some sort of award for it.”

Tips raised these issues with Clive Mathieson, editor of The Australian, who said this:

“Every copy of The Weekend Australian should include Review and The Weekend Australian Magazine. We do get occasional complaints about missing inserts, including some relating to last Saturday’s paper. The problem typically occurs at the printing press. Any reader whose paper is missing inserts should contact their newsagent or the newspaper and we will endeavour to get the missing items to them. In the case of Wish, past budget cuts mean the magazine is not distributed to some parts of the country.”

But if you think it’s a bummer missing out on the inserts, this is worse: over in Wagga Wagga, subscribers to the Sydney Morning Herald sometimes get no paper at all. We’ve heard from a woman who has missed her delivered SMH at least twice in recent weeks; the newsagents have signs up saying they don’t have any copies. One newsagent commented “they have sacked too many people”. And this tip comes from a Melbourne reader of The Age:

“Out in the ‘burbs here at Nunawading — which my old colleague Michael Leunig once tagged as “The Centre of the Universe” — we’ve been noticing the Mystery of the Missing Inserts for at least a year. Alert newsagents and shopkeepers have suggested to us that there are some miserly, toe-rag customers who delight in pinching sections of the paper they like to read — without paying the cover price. We find we need to check The Oz on Saturday to see none of it has gone “walkies” before we pay. Out our way, The Green Guide in The Age on Thursday is another insert doing a disappearing trick!”

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that this nation of convict descendants is thieving pages from other people’s newspapers. It does seem a little cheap though. Is the practice widespread? Tell us your newspaper experiences here.

Catalano in News Limited G-town talent heist. The Weekly Review Greater Geelong, the glossy Antony Catalano-helmed real estate publication that has destroyed Rupert’s hold on ad revenue in Victoria’s second city, has poached two former senior News executives to ringfence its $10 million revenue raid. Mark Hallo has been appointed general manager and Kristie Robertson sales and marketing director for the new publication that will hit 70,000 letterboxes next Thursday.

Hallo was the Addy‘s respected sales director while Robertson worked for 18 years at the now-ailing tabloid and has every local agent on speed dial. More appointments to the part-agent, part-Fairfax owned Metro Media publication are expected next week.

The Annabel Broadcasting Corporation. We’ve also had plenty of feedback on our tip yesterday from an ABC insider grizzling about the omnipresence of Annabel Crabb (who fronted Foreign Correspondent US election special last night). Passionate views on both sides. You can see some positive Crabb reviews in our Comments section at the end of the email, while there’s some criticism of La Crabb in the comments posted on the original tip.

And here’s a review of FC from our resident Crikey television expert: “A thoroughly entertaining depiction of the views of ordinary Americans, but it came to no brilliant new conclusions”.

Having a punt on lame racing gags. Crikey yesterday enjoyed the annual linguistic bonanza of journalists and politicians who can’t resist airing their racing cliches when talking about the RBA’s interest rates decision (same day, folks). “Cup Day cut scratched,” said the Herald Sun today.

We shouted out for the best line linking the two issues, but we’ve had to move the goal posts to ensure that Coalition frontbencher Scott Morrison is crowned the winner for his media release linking racing lingo with … the plight of asylum seekers. “Gillard government a sure bet for people smugglers,” the release said. Did you miss what he did there? Don’t worry — he repeats it. Take it away, wordsmith Morrison:

*Do you know more? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form.