The razor gangs at Fairfax and News Limited are circling newspapers' foreign bureaux, with The Australian poised to close its sole remaining US desk within weeks.

The Oz has already shut down its London bureau and will not replace veteran Europe correspondent Peter Wilson who took redundancy late last year. Crikey understands current Washington correspondent Brad Norington is highly unlikely to be replaced when he concludes his stint following Barack Obama's inauguration on January 21. This would leave the broadsheet without a full-time US correspondent -- a dramatic shift since late 2008, when it had bureaux in New York, Los Angeles and Washington.