Glenn Milne, a long-time Canberra-based political reporter working for the Sunday News Limited papers, was sacked this week VEXNEWS can exclusively reveal.
Warned late last year after being summoned to a gathering of the Sunday newspapers’ editors that he had to pick up his game, the axe finally fell this week.
Milne is believed to have been on a package well in excess of $250,000, a number considerably in excess of most of his bosses. They compared their own productivity to his poor performance as a Gallery lounge lizard and found him wanting.
Frequent complaints about Milne included his lack of current political connections, his failure to generate exclusive stories of the kind he frequently promised and his tendency to share with editors “his stories” that were not much more than prevailing gossip around the water-cooler in the Gallery.
With some highly productive young scribes in the company copping as little as $40,000 a year, the injustice of Milne getting paid so much while doing so little was causing an increasing sense of scandal in the company.
It is not yet known whether Milne’s Monday column at The Australian will continue but sources confirm that he is no longer an employee of News Limited.
Milne has been involved in several atrocities, one of the most vicious and vile being his report when on Channel 7 of a prospective federal MP where he repeated false allegations made by his ex-wife that had already been found to be false in Victorian courts.
Since then our predecessor publication and VEXNEWS have made it our business to ensure an appropriate level of scrutiny was applied to Milne, in the interests of justice.
Highlights of our coverage have included reports of his heavy drinking, the view held by then Howard Government young female advisers that Milne’s frequent entrance to the ministerial wing was regarded as ‘sexually predatory’ and other fair, balanced and well-sourced accounts.
So outraged was Milne by our investigative reporting that on one occasion he publicly attacked then left-wing email newsletter bossÂ Stephen Mayne during a live television broadcast, for daring to link to one of our stories. Mayne is a sanctimonious humbug who has naturally found his level in local government as an old crank before his time so Milne couldn’t have delighted us more when he explained why he’d done what he did. Andrew Landeryou, Xanax and alcohol were blamed in equal measure. Comedy gold.
Since then Milne has been on a downward slide. He became a Peter Costello and Costello-backers favoured scribe for a time and that meant he had a steady flow of Costello-serving stories. When Cossie left, there was no-one sadder than Milne.
So besotted was Milne with the nation’s longest-serving Treasurer that he failed to cultivate any love at all with the Labor side in the last few years of the Howard government making him as relevant as a bicycle to a fish since the arrival of Kevin07. It was strange – and perhaps a sign of laziness and old age creeping in – because back in the day he’d previously boasted a close relationship with Keating or at least some of the then Treasurer’s spinners.
Media observers told VEXNEWS this afternoon they were surprised Milne lasted as long as he did post-Costello. They considered it highly unlikely that he’d return to print or television journalism anytime soon.
“There’s always Twitter,” one pointed out.