From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Qantas cuts: management first? Qantas boss Alan Joyce is standing firm, but what about his key lieutenants? The word from one mole is Lyell Strambi, CEO of the domestic airline business, will go first, followed by Simon Hickey, who runs the beleaguered international arm. “Joyce is attempting to stamp out any dissenting management,” says our source.

One person almost certain to be fired is whoever it was in the spin department that put out the press release on Monday stating Qantas wasn’t bothered by the carbon tax — Joyce now insists it’s “absolutely” a factor in the airline’s poor performance. According to The Australian: “It is understood Mr Joyce has blamed Monday’s statement on the carbon tax on a junior employee.” Surely, with 5000 heads on the block, that poor soul will be among the first out.

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… and speaking of Qantas. We’ve heard from two savvy sources who have rushed to use up their frequent flier points due to the airline’s woes. One cited the closure of Ansett and the thousands of people who lost all their points as a result. Is there a trend on, or are our sources jumping the gun here? Aviation insiders, settle the matter for us.

Kohler v the government. “WRONG WAY GO BACK” was finance guru Alan Kohler’s message to Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos in a startling full-page ad across all News Corporation newspapers on Monday. From his crowded hat stand, Kohler had the Eureka Report cap on, the investment advice publication acquired by News Corporation in 2012 along with Business Spectator. Eureka has a financial services license, allowing it to give specific share recommendations; Kohler says the Coalition’s changes to the Future of Finance Advice reforms “simply encourage the industry to keep their advice general so they can get paid more by promoters of investment products, which is the exact opposite of what investors need”.

The ad, apparently, worked a treat: a rather odd press release from Eurkea this morning had the ABC money man exclaiming: “It’s an indication that print is not dead, because this ad really packs a punch … We’ve had tonnes of digital ads through the News Corp papers … but this has had real impact.” And, surely, at a discount rate to a News Corp employee?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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