The feral beast: Will Weinberg dodge the chop?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

More than 50 jobs are going at The Times,but what of Joanna Weinberg?

The food writer dispenses weekly cooking tips in T2, the lifestyle section which disappears in this week's redesign, for which she is rumoured to rake in £80,000. One memorable recent column dedicated 364 words to how to cook frozen peas. Happily, there are plans to keep a food page, but Joanna also has a lifeline not available to others, being the sister of Kate Weinberg, fiancée of Times editor James Harding. Peas in a pod.

Not insulated against asbestos

In an essay in Tuesday's Daily Mail, Christopher Booker blamed the BBC for whipping up hysteria over asbestos, which he says has paved the way for "commercial rackets like the compensation industry", which "makes a fortune from claims". In case readers were in any doubt, they need only have turned to the back page for a big ad inviting us to make an asbestos exposure claim, via a freephone number. We trust Booker will be sending back his Mail fee by return post.

'It's a total Stickler'

Former Today news editor Adrian Addison launches into a stinging attack of the BBC over its dismissal of Angus Stickler, once Sony Journalist of the Year. "It's a total shocker," he fumes in an email to friends, "BBC News has millions of drone-like, identikit reporters, and few actual investigative hacks that can genuinely – consistently – turn up, and stand up, good tales. Letting Stickler go is just stupid, plain stupid. It is yet more proof, if more were needed, that the Today programme has little interest in getting its own stories. Yet another, yawn, 'forensic' interview with a politician is far easier – and cheaper." Ouch.

Is Chiles's editor refusing to woo?

Could news that Adrian Chiles is unhappy at The One Show have anything to do with the new editor, Sandy Smith? A former Panorama boss, Smith is not easily impressed by showbiz airs and graces. Originally a newspaper man, I'm told he makes little effort to disguise the fact that he finds the courtship of "talent" somewhat tiresome.

Sensational, exclusive... but late

A "sick" picture of Albanian sex traffickers operating in broad daylight made a great story on The Sun and Daily Mail websites. But hacks following up this "exclusive" were puzzled to see it captioned as the Demarku brothers, who have been behind bars for at least four years. Turns out the picture dates from before their conviction, and the "vile pimps" are, er, still safely banged up.

Don't worry dear, it's only a TV show

Mouthy director Michael Winner seems to have had a change of heart after slagging off 12 Yard, the company that made his show Michael Winner's Dining Stars. Last month he said he'd have sacked the whole crew had it been working on one of his films, but on Tuesday's Front Row, Radio 4's art show, he was full of praise for ITV's Peter Fincham and said "I'm hoping for series 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6."