The feral beast: Who'll be the last diarist standing?

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The Independent Online

Another rival bites the dust. The Times has axed its gossip column, which will cease to appear as of tomorrow. Wapping insiders say editor James Harding has instilled a macho culture which has no time for the whimsical People column. Diary editor Adam Sherwin returns to the newsdesk, where he was formerly media correspondent.

Wadders works the circuit

Former Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadley hasn't wasted any time busying herself elsewhere. I'm told she has just landed a senior arts-related post that is awaiting Government approval. There was talk of her running as a Conservative councillor in Kensington and Chelsea, but Wadley withdrew her application after moving home into the area fell through. Wadders has become a regular fixture on the canapé circuit of late, last spotted turning up to Robert Harris's book launch on Thursday in a gleaming new Range Rover.

City and the censor

City University has proudly announced the appointment of ex-Times man George Brock as head of its journalism courses. But Brock isn't universally loved, having been instrumental in Robert Fisk's decision to quit The Times to join The Independent in 1988. According to Fisk's book, The Great War For Civilisation, Brock re-wrote Fisk's report of a US attack on an Iranian civilian flight to exculpate the American government. Fisk was so incensed by this censorship that he "lost faith in The Times" and has been allied to this paper ever since.

More Pesto, less Kempo

When Sky News poached Sunday Telegraph city editor Mark Kleinman (right) to be their own Robert Peston, he was sporting a full head of Pesto-black hair. So imagine the shrieks in the studio when Kleinman strolled in the other day after a Grade Two knuckle cut. Worried his new Ross Kemp look was a bit too aggressive for the viewers, producers swiftly ordered Kleinman to grow back his hair, which he has.

Gong, you're gone

It's one in the eye for The Times, which unceremoniously sacked Dr Thomas Stuttaford last year. The veteran medical columnist has been awarded the prestigious Novo Nordisk media prize, an international gong for diabetes articles. The winning piece revealed how the disease now causes more amputations than landmines, and appeared only three weeks before he left the paper after 28 years' service.

Julia's clever little secret

The Evening Standard's Londoner's Diary has been shortlisted for diary of the year at the inaugural Editorial Intelligence Commentariat Awards, against my colleague Matthew Bell. Touchingly, the Londoner has been frantically plugging Julia Hobsbawm and EI ever since but, alas, in vain. Hobsbawm tells me all judging is complete, and results are "under tighter wraps than a new J K Rowling novel". There'll be no nobbling here!

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