Kelly to Insiders, who’ll replace on RN? Fran Kelly is returning to the box. The Radio National breakfaster will take the reins of Insiders for a few months of Sundays, with current host Barrie Cassidy heading off on long-service leave. Kelly takes over on April 27; Cassidy won’t be back until August 10. In a statement, Kelly said, naturally, she’s looking forward to the sleep-ins. She’ll shift from Sydney to Melbourne, home of the Insiders‘ couch, for the period.

But who’ll take over her gruelling Radio National slot? There’s been listener upset in the past over fill-ins during Kelly’s time away — particularly John “Roy Slaven” Doyle — but the job will probably go to Kelly’s offsider James Carleton or RN Sunday host (and ex-Crikey editor) Jonathan Green. The ABC told Crikey it’s not “in a position to announce a replacement just yet”. — Jason Whittaker

Musical chairs at The Monthly. There’s change at the top of The Monthly, with the print editor standing down and the online editor stepping in. After two years editing Morry Schwartz’s left-leaning current affairs journal, former Fairfax writer John van Tiggelen wants to spend more time with the family. Nick Feik, who’s been managing the website, will take over.

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“I’ve been looking forward to this change, partly for family reasons: I’ve been commuting from central Victoria to Collingwood for well over two years now,” said van Tiggelen, who’ll remain with the publication as a staff writer. Schwartz, publisher of The Monthly and the fledgling Saturday Paper, says Feik’s reign “will be as succesful as everything else he has put his hand to in the past”.

Speaking of Schwartz, he’s just been appointed adjunct professor at RMIT’s school of journalism, where he’ll “participate in a combination of public events, deliver lectures and mentor undergraduate and post-graduate students”.

CEO proposal will go down to the wire at MEAA. As Crikey reported last week, the head of the union that represents journalists, actors and entertainers, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, is considering a change in model where the federal secretary position, currently elected, gets replaced by an appointed CEO position. Chris Warren, MEAA’s current federal secretary, has been advocating for the change, but plenty of journalists are very unhappy at how it’s been rushed through.

Marcus Strom, honorary secretary in New South Wales, waded in yesterday, voicing publicly his opposition to the changes in a letter he says MEAA stopped him from sending its members. The vote is this weekend, and Crikey understands Warren has almost secured the numbers to get the proposal up at the vote in Sydney, despite the howls of protests. But it’ll be close. We’ll know the result on Monday. — Myriam Robin

Ruling today on 2Day verses ACMA. Embattled radio station 2Day FM wants the Federal Court to stop the Australian Communications and Media Authority accusing it of breaching the New South Wales Surveillance Devices Act. At 2.15pm today, the full bench of the Sydney Federal Court will hand down its decision.

The case involves a section of ACMA’s preliminary report into the “royal prank call” incident in which two 2DayFM hosts impersonated the Queen and were patched through to the royals at their hotel bed. 2DayFM took the section to the Federal Court, accusing ACMA of overstepping its jurisdiction in a preliminary ruling into the incident. The broadcaster lost the first case, but has since appealed. — Myriam Robin

Networks welcome US TV renewals. The Ten Network will be happy — most of its foreign program line-up has been given another season by US TV powerhouse CBS. As well, Nine’s highest-rating foreign program, The Big Bang Theory, has been given three more years. The decision is worth millions of dollars to Ten, Nine and to a lesser extent Seven. It is probably the most important offshore programming decision for Australian networks this year.

CBS renewed 20 programs overnight, including drama series NCISNCIS: LA, Elementary, Hawaii Five-0Blue Bloods and The Good Wife (Ten); Criminal Minds (Seven); plus Person Of Interest and CSI (Nine). Five comedies were also given new seasons: Two Broke Girls (Nine), The Millers (Ten) and the three Chuck Lorre series, Two and A Half Men, Mike & Molly and first season newbie, Mom (all Nine). — Glenn Dyer

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Peter Fray
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