From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Chessell to become editor? Rumours are swirling in The Australian Financial Review newsroom that wunderkind deputy editor James Chessell will soon be appointed editor. The current editor, Paul Bailey, would continue in a senior editing role, but with added commercial duties. Michael Stutchbury would remain as editor-in-chief. Chessell, currently the Fin’s deputy editor, also writes regularly on media business issues.

Widely known as the “dauphin”, Chessell was lured to the Fin in 2011 by CEO Brett Clegg with the offer of a posting to London. Fairfax’s bean counters would be delighted if he stays put as editor as it would allow them to save the expense of opening a London bureau. Chessell denied the move when contacted by Crikey this morning.  A Fairfax spokesperson said: “People are getting ahead of themselves — no decisions have been made.”

Dirt file on Tim Mathieson. New Tony Abbott staffer Jude Donnelly, formerly of Richmond Football Club and the Howard Government, has recently been hired to give Tone some advice on sport and improve his standing with women. But she may have also embraced a more pernicious role. A mole reckons Jude (you can watch her swear at journalists in a press conference here — “that’s not how we roll!”) is shopping around dirt on Julia Gillard’s partner Tim Mathieson to a notorious journalist at The Australian. Mathieson is a proud Tigers fan. And Jude’s background means she has the mobile phone numbers of key officials at Richmond who in turn have been getting aggressive phone calls from said journalist.

“Abbott’s office is leading a dirt campaign against Tim Mathieson using Jude’s former contacts,” one well-placed source told Crikey. “It seems hypocritical for someone who has been very protective of Margie Abbott’s privacy to be going so hard against her opposite number.” We await the splash in The Weekend Australian magazine with interest.

Greens do allow men. Yesterday we brought you a claim from a disgruntled Greens mole about an apparent man-ban at the party’s next NSW Delegates’ Council meeting. Seems our mole was getting a little creative with the truth; we’ve heard back from the Greens’ NSW Women’s Group, who proposed the move:

“The exact wording of the proposal reads: ‘In the spirit of International Women’s Day 2013, local groups are encouraged to send female delegates to the first SDC of 2013, and that one day of the SDC be facilitated by women only.’ We’ve already heard back from local groups who are very excited about the idea and delegates from across the state, men and women, are looking forward to the weekend.”

We checked and yes, men can attend the day in question — but only women can facilitate.

Researchers at federal Parliament House crunched the numbers last year and found that women make up more than half the population, but less than a third of Australia’s parliamentarians. So if you’re a bloke whinging about a lack of political opportunities, good luck. You’ve certainly got the papacy all stitched up, for eternity.

And the winner is … Speaking of s-xism, there are some good-looking blokes strolling the corridors of Parliament House (no, not just Jason Clare — staffers are generally a cut above the politicians). And we’re delighted that two of them — Abbott spinner James Boyce and ALP assistant national secretary Nathan Lambert — are in the running for Cleo Bachelor of the Year 2013.

Insiders tell us that the boyish Boyce, an ex-TV journo who is more polite and pleasant to deal with than many staffers, is known for being the object of considerable female scrutiny in the coffee queue at Aussies. The poor fellow has certainly bounced back from apparently being the staffer involved in Abbott’s disastrous death stare over the “shit happens” ambush (which was very early in his time with Abbott).

And we can inform you that the hirsute Lambert (an ex-John Faulkner staffer) is a gregarious head-turner who’s been known to dance up a storm at the annual press gallery media ball. Lucky lady who’s his date! We’re not entirely convinced either man is single (you can enter the comp if you have a girlfriend, although it seems a bit pointless to us). May the best man win.

A red rose for The Hoff. Well it’s Valentine’s Day, and what better way to mark it than an evening with David Hasselhoff? The Hoff, star of Baywatch (and so much more) is on a speaking tour. He’s in Melbourne tonight, with a show billed as “an intimate, hilarious evening of song, dance and audience interaction, the show covers Knight Rider to Baywatch”. A steal at $64. Tips is intrigued that anyone would pay money to listen to The Hoff, and is throwing the doors open to reviews from readers. If you’re attending a Hoff event, write us a 150-word review.

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