Johnston crosses over. Last day in the chair today for respected SMH/Age business editor Eric Johnston, who has been poached by The Australian to replace Geoff Elliott, who is off to PR outfit Cosway. Johnston took over from Mark Hawthorne about two years ago, and was soon implementing the difficult merger of the business desks of the Smage and AFR. That's been a decidedly mixed proposition with stars like Adele Ferguson and Michael West continuing as shining examples of the kind of journalism Fairfax does best -- their copy is not shared with the AFR -- while other reporters often find themselves pulled in different directions by editors of two mastheads with very different readership, copy requirements and angles in mind. Johnston is an experienced editor who has previously worked for AAP, Dow Jones (before News bought the WSJ) and spent five years at the AFR before joining the metros. He leaves Fairfax on good terms after some nine years and is replaced by prolific Mat Dunckley, formerly Melbourne bureau chief of the AFR. The Australian's business section has been looking under strength with undoubted talents not always well used and an awkward interaction with the Business Spectator stable of commentators. A real opportunity. -- Paddy Manning
Shock ABC hire. The ABC has snared a senior executive from a commercial network -- and the Nine Network at that. Richard Finlayson, Director ABC Television, revealed in a statement this morning that he has hired Nine's head of development and digital, Adrian Swift, as ABC TV's Head of Content and Creative Development. Swift's appointment follows the move by Finlayson to grab Jon Casimir (The Gruen shows) from CJZ, (Cordell, Jigsaw, Zapruder) as ABC TV's Head of Entertainment.