Rupert takes aim at his own shop

Rupert takes aim at his own shop

News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch has taken a thinly veiled swipe at management consultants from Boston Consulting Group, lamenting the "damage" done to his media empire by "ignorant consultants".

Under former News Corp Australia head Kim Williams, Boston oversaw cost-cutting measures that saw advertising sales and news-gathering teams centralised.

But the changes were very unpopular within the company's senior ranks. The first move to undo them came in August when Williams was replaced by 69-year-old Murdoch consigliere Julian Clarke, and last week hacks who had been working in a national news hub were reportedly sent back to their home papers.

"Newscorp sad case of damage by ignorant consultants," Murdoch tweeted on Saturday. "Fast being repaired by infusion of experienced managers."

Murdoch's actions imply a bet that print advertising will rebound following the September election of Tony Abbott. "Australia feels totally different to six months ago," Murdoch tweeted. "Govt will cut massive regulations giving real optimism. Should cancel wild spending."

More wisdom was shared at the Sydney Town Hall on Thursday, where the US citizen lectured Australian leaders about the Australian economy.

CBD's spies noticed Reserve Bank boss Glenn Stevens, who was on a table with James Packer, looked a little uncomfortable during the Lowy Institute dinner.

Perhaps Stevens was distracted by events in London, where a court heard of a six-year secret affair between former senior News editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson.

The pair are on trial at the Old Bailey fighting charges of overseeing a phone-hacking system that targeted celebrities, sportspeople and murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

"Remember, everyone innocent until proven guilty," Murdoch helpfully reminded on October 13.

Breeding tells

Many feathers decorating the fascinators of the racing elite were ruffled on Saturday in Melbourne, when Lexus scored the first PR own goal of the spring season.

The marquee for Toyota's luxury car division at Flemington features a fancy third level with a perfect view of the track, but it was closed off to guests during the Victoria Derby on Saturday. Major customers and corporate high-flyers were left to watch the race on the big screen, so former supermodel Naomi Campbell could watch the thoroughbreds in peace.

Sadly, she didn't actually turn up until after the race. Later, she was heard to remark: "These Australians are so feral."

But a big win to budget department store Harris Scarfe, which managed to pull off a neat piece of ambush marketing. It got model Jesinta Campbell on to newspaper front pages wearing an outfit from its fashion label Boutique that included a bizarre black plastic dish fastened awkwardly to her head.

Nice work when Myer is the big sponsor of the Flemington races.

Guerilla cyberfare

Bad news for anti-Commonwealth Bank activist Geoff Shannon, whose Unhappy Banking website was hacked by a mysterious cyber criminal calling him or herself "Black $0ld1er". But don't blame the bank for this one: it seems B$ is part of a team called "Indonesian Defacer Newbie", who take exception to Australia's electronic espionage of Indonesia.

Back to sleep

Some are sceptical Ten Network's chirpy new morning show Wake Up, which kicks off on Monday morning, will do much better than last year's Paul Henry-helmed ratings disaster, Breakfast.

"The words 'deckchairs' and 'Titanic' come to mind," one well-placed observer told CBD. "Cheaper to show cartoons."

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