From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

News Corp’s results go AWOL. Where are the eagerly awaited financial results for the New News Corp, the company housing Rupert Murdoch’s print assets, book publishing business and Foxtel? Reporting season ends tomorrow, but there’s no sign of any figures. The company’s spokespeople went to ground when Crikey lobbed some questions their way this morning. An ASX spokesperson confirmed that companies face suspension from the stock exchange if they don’t file on time. Exceptions can be waived in special circumstances — including if companies want to file results in line with the US reporting season. Something seems suss to us …

Papers under the gun in Fairfax review. Meanwhile, Fairfax is currently conducting a review of all its products: that’s over 400 publications, 300 websites and 100 apps. It’s got little attention so far, but trust us: it’s a big deal. “The product review is what the whole organisation is obsessed about at the moment,” a Fairfax source said.

Crikey hears around 40 publications are in danger of being axed or scaled back — including some big-name titles. These include The Sun-Herald (which sells barely half as many copies as The Sunday Telegraph), The Weekend Australian Financial Review (which doesn’t make any money), BRW (with a circulation that has plummeted in the most recent survey) and the glossy (sydney)magazine and (melbourne)magazine inserts (which cost a bomb to produce). The viability of smaller titles is also being scrutinised.

The product review discussions are a movable feast and nothing is finalised yet. Meanwhile, Fairfax’s Sydney newsroom continues to buzz with speculation a large number of jobs will be cut through the AFR/BusinessDay merger. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.

Optus job IT losses. Telco Optus looks set to notify 47 IT employees its Service Operations department that their services are no longer needed, we’ve been told. The staff who will replace them work for NCS — a fully owned subsidiary of Optus’ parent company Singtel — and while some jobs will remain in Australia, a considerable number will be moved offshore.

An Optus spokesperson has confirmed this, saying staff in the IT division were notified about outsourcing plans as early as February, and they will be working with employees in regard to redeployment options. Our tipster says many NCS workers are currently at Optus HQ learning the environment from the very staff they’ll be replacing.

Money worries at LaTrobe. A Crikey tipster says senior staff have been told the university will run out of cash in the third quarter of 2014. The university’s vice-chancellor raised has raised Australian Tertiary Admission Rank requirements for prospective students and limited new enrolments, we’re told. Stay tuned.

Ex-WikiLeaks staffer blasts party. Former WikiLeaks Party volunteer coordinator David Haidon has delivered a broadside against his former party following its right-wing Senate preference scandal last week. In his farewell missive, obtained by Crikey, Haidon documents in forensic detail the last days of his participation before blow-ups that led to the departure of Victorian Senate candidate Leslie Cannold and social media captain Sean Bedlam.

Haidon says he is owed $2400 from the last two weeks of his employment before he pulled the pin and says Julian Assange was difficult to contact as the fracas unfolded. There’s plenty of others with stories to tell — let us know what you know about the WikiLeaks Party …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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