Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
FitzSimons sticks with Fairfax.
Times may be tough at newspapers, but Crikey
hears that News Corp Australia has been waving the chequebook around to lure Fairfax's Peter FitzSimons over to its tabloid stable. Although his colloquial style isn't for everyone, the red bandana-wearing former Wallaby is one of The Sydney Morning Herald
's best-read writers -- both on sport and the opinion pages. The defection would be particularly bad news for the struggling Sun-Herald
, where FitzSimons is one of the star writers. The word is that News' audacious play hasn't paid off and that Fitzy is staying put for now, despite apparently being offered a whopping increase on his current salary.
When the paper doesn't show up.
Still in newspaper land, one angry reader reports from Queensland that home delivery of The Courier-Mail
and The Australian
has been a "shambles" since News Corporation took away home delivery from local newsagents. They report late deliveries and, some days, none at all: "In my case The Australian
did not arrive yesterday or today Thursday. Complaints get you nowhere."
La Trobe to privatise student housing?
La Trobe University in Victoria is in a pretty deep financial hole. Could one solution be to sell off the residential colleges? That's according to one campus spy, who notes the reported $65 million black hole in the university budget and one way it could be filled. We asked La Trobe, and naturally the response from a spokesperson was: "We currently have no plans to private La Trobe University’s residential colleges." Perhaps. But we're told to keep watch.
Hewitt waiting for the right high-ball.
Little Lleyton Hewitt may have made an early exit from the Australian Open, but he's in his ongoing property sale for the long haul. Our colleague at Property Observer Jonathan Chancellor reports
the fading tennis is holding out for a better price for his long-vacated West Lakes house in Adelaide. It returned to the market in October with a price range of $2.95-3.24 million. Even that won't make the millionaire much more dough -- the 29 Martin Court property with its 801 square metre block was bought in 2003 for $3.2 million. They certainly look like nice digs ...
Abbott is watching. Always.
Does this picture look a little menacing to anyone else ...?