The feral beast: Mills 1, Herbert 0

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The Independent Online

That Susannah Herbert is leaving The Sunday Times, where she edits the News Review is not surprising; when Eleanor Mills, her predecessor, returned from an unhappy stint editing the Saturday Times, rumours of creative tension between them were rife.

Herbert says she's now considering her options. So what next for Mills? She's a favourite of editor John Witherow, who gave her Rachel Johnson's column and the vague title of associate editor. Herbert's departure, of course, creates a vacancy.

High-brow and connected

Wherever you turn, high or low, everybody is raving about Piers Paul Read's new novel. Take Standpoint, where it makes the cover of next month's issue. The uber Catholic thinker fits the high-brow brief perfectly; never mind that his wife, Emily, is their saintly office manager. And then there's Tatler, which gives it the lead review. Editor Catherine Ostler may be married to Albert Read, Piers Paul's son, but the cerebral novelist fits Tatler's brief perfectly!

Crisis in a laptop

A story of frontline professionalism arrives from Scotland: reporter Craig Brown, who was dispatched by The Scotsman to report on the Cumbria massacre, was horrified to find his laptop had packed up when he reached the scene of the crime. Unfazed, he headed to the public library in Whitehaven and filed before it closed at teatime. Perhaps Johnston Press should reward him with an upgrade.

Green with embarrassment

The Sunday Times ran a prominent apology last week over a story by Jonathan Leake about the UN climate panel. It's not the first time Leake has been in hot water: there are blogs dedicated to following his tussles with green groups. But is Leake entirely to blame? News editor Nick Hellen is said to have been particularly enthusiastic about the UN story. Is that what the correction meant when it said: "A version of our article...underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views." ?

Football or work – tough choice

Progressive management techniques at The Mail on Sunday saw the whole office watching the England game at a pub on Wednesday. Editor Peter Wright presided, and even picked up the tab. All in the interests of research: the minute the whistle blew there was an unseemly rush back to the office.

First shoot your fox

Times columnist Janice Turner recently wrote about a colleague who paid a marksman £400 to get rid of some foxes. "He put a can of dog food on the lawn... Then, as they ate it, the assassin picked off four foxes one by one. It was like a Quentin Tarantino film, said a neighbour." Happily she stops short of naming the colleague – a fact box beside the article points out that such practice is largely prohibited.