The spectator

The 'cavaliers' have the last laugh on Greenslade

What would medialand do without Roy Greenslade? The prophet's media-analysis column for the 'Evening Standard' last Wednesday rubbished reports that there was a feud over increased integration between 'The Observer' and 'The Guardian', for which he also writes a blog. Greenslade, sceptical about newspaper claims ("so cavalier in reporting our own affairs") that Roger Alton was about to resign as editor of 'The Observer', extracted from him the comment that he would leave "sooner or later". Alton announced his resignation that afternoon. Shortly after, 'Observer' columnist Nick Cohen texted Anne McElvoy, executive editor of the 'Standard', asking when Greenslade would be announcing his own resignation.

Good week for

Because liberty cannot flourish in the darkness, our rights and freedoms are protected by the daylight of public scrutiny

Sir Trevor McDonald: His name has been dropped from the show 'Tonight with Trevor McDonald' and he is now scaling back his appearances on the show.

However, the national treasure will return to his more comfortable seat at the helm of the resurrected 'News at Ten'. He is expected to appear four times a week until the news programme has bedded into schedules again.

Bad week for

Ian MacGregor: The new 'Sunday Telegraph' editor won't be pleased. The 'Financial Times' has swooped on some of his top business brains.

The Pink 'Un has poached economic historian Niall Ferguson to be a contributing editor – he had been one of the leading columnists for 'The Sunday Telegraph'.

The 'FT' has also scooped up the paper's deputy business editor, Sylvia Pfeifer, to be its defence industries correspondent.

Rumours flattened

"Let me scotch some rumours," says Nick Davies, author of 'Flat Earth News', in a post on a 'Guardian' blog. Davies, on sabbatical from 'The Guardian', says his book does not accuse Kamal Ahmed, outgoing 'Observer' executive editor (news), of helping Alastair Campbell with the dodgy dossier, nor did 'Guardian' editor Alan Rusbridger egg on Davies to write a chapter on 'Observer' Iraq coverage. "In fact [Rusbridger] looked a bit sick" when Davies told him what he'd done.

Patience is so unassuming

Rumours continue to circulate that Patience Wheatcroft, former business editor of 'The Times', is a contender for its editorship. However, a counter rumour has emerged. Wheatcroft, until recently editor of 'The Sunday Telegraph', has become so embarrassed by the hype that she felt compelled to write to Rupert Murdoch to apologise, promise him she is not the source behind the stories, and reassure him she would not be so presumptuous. Such modesty!

The bubbly's on d'Ancona

Barely had John Mulholland been named the successor to Roger Alton at 'The Observer' when a courier firm's phone rang. Could they bike over a bottle of Ruinart champagne to the reserved Irishman, along with an obsequious congratulatory note? Regular imbibers at parties held at 'The Spectator' know there is only one man who flatters his acquaintances with such ruinously expensive champers – the dear old 'Spec' editor Matthew d'Ancona.

Design your own downfall

"If we can join together the richness of the BBC's resources – if we can get better at using the existing resources available at BBC Sport, the Business Unit, and in the nations and regions – then we can have a much stronger proposition," said Mark Popescu, then News 24 editor and one of the architects of the BBC News services merger costing 600 jobs. First out of the door on voluntary redundancy? That'll be the current editor of the Six O'Clock News, Mark Popescu.

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