From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Another rebrand for Age arts. First it was A3, The Age‘s long-running (and much-loved) arts and culture supplement in the Saturday paper. Then it become Life & Style, to align the brand with Fairfax’s online presence, which nobody seemed to like much. Now, we hear, the arty Saturday tabloid will be renamed Spectrum — which The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Saturday pull-out has been called for years.

It all happens on March 1, when The Age and SMH go tabloid on Saturdays to match the Monday-Friday editions. (It also happens to be the day Morry Schwartz launches his new Saturday Paper — coincidence?) The name change won’t mean much to readers — but any attempt to syndicate more content out of Sydney (and cut staff) might. The Age had a long-running battle with its foodie readers protective of the Epicure brand — it might be asking for more trouble …

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Curtains for The Global Mail? The internet is abuzz this morning at the news that Wotif baron Graeme Wood has pulled his funding from The Global Mail,with staff likely to be made redundant as a result. We might have thought that once the site lost its annoying left-to-right scrolling function, it might have had a chance, but apparently not … the non-paywalled site did win some accolades, but it struggled to attract traffic. We’re hearing rumours that some staff have already lost their jobs.

New-age Kevin07. The byelection for the federal seat of Griffith (that’s Kevin Rudd’s fiefdom) is looming. One can’t use the famous Kevin07 slogan any more — for several obvious reasons — but we hear the Greens are using the slogan “GO GREEN IN 14”. Tips loves a rhyme, so good on them.

No paper trail, thanks. Has the sound of paper shredders being ringing out over Duntroon army training college? Well, well, if you know more you know who to email

Who bought the Smeg? A reader told us to ask questions about a glowing kitchen-themed story in The Australian’s “Personal Oz” section on Tuesday. The story, by in-house food writer and editor Necia Wilden, talked about her kitchen renovations and provided details of the exact brands and items she’d purchased (the Smeg was a hit). Our suspicious reader wanted to know if there was any undisclosed sponsorship involved …

… and the answer is no. We chased this up with Wilden, who told us this:

“Like any owner/builder, my husband Frank Wilden negotiated prices for appliances and other fittings that were available to any owner/builder. At no stage in the commercial transactions was there any suggestion, overt or implied, of a quid pro quo arrangement in relation to my position as a journalist. Any suggestion otherwise is incorrect.”

And for good measure, The Australian’s editor Clive Mathieson added: “Following Crikey’s questions, we reviewed this matter and we are satisfied that there has been no breach of our editorial guidelines.” Good to know Clive is taking us seriously!

So nothing untoward happened, but thanks to our reader for being alert to the possibility of paid-for (but undiclosed) spruiks for products, a practice that is rife elsewhere in the media. Now, it must be time for my Lindor Dark 60% chocolate block and cup of Twinings Mid-Strength English Breakfast tea in an individual “keep-fresh” sachet.

If you know of media organisations that are passing off paid promotions (or discounts, or goodies) as genuine editorial content, please tell Crikey.

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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Crikey is an independent Australian-owned and run outfit. It doesn’t enjoy the vast resources of the country’s main media organisations. We take seriously our responsibility to bear witness.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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