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BRUCE GUTHRIE: Sacked editor’s dirty linen to be aired

brucegreedygurthrie Former newspaper editor Bruce Guthrie is believed to be determined to have revenge against his former employer, the Herald Sun. He’s suing them for millions in the Victorian Supreme Court this week, with legal experts believing he’ll struggle to get anything out of the process other than a big fat legal bill.

Guthrie’s strategy of making the popular newspaper a pale imitation of The Age with resources thrown at ritzy supplements on the finest inner-city dining experiences that were simply not speaking to the average Herald Sun reader were not much than disastrous, media critics said at the time.

It’s a strong masthead so Guthrie’s damage wasn’t permanent, but it felt wrong and many advertisers failed to understand what Brucey was on about.

His wife, Janne Apelgren, now the editor of The Age’s pompous Food Guide, was put in charge of one of these supplements which managed to talk down to readers like never before, lecturing them on where to buy the latest organic wagyu beef and other stuff well beyond the budget of most people. It caused much cringing and embarrassment in the HWT building at the time.

Guthrie’s reign reached its inevitable end when he was sacked by the News Limited hierarchy for imperilling the jewel in its Australian newspaper crown, the Herald Sun.

They generously paid him out of his remaining contract, a sum we believe to be nearly $1 million.  He wants even more. As we understand it, he even wants to be paid out on the next contract he could have had, if it had been renewed for another few years. It’s a legal claim that beggars belief and strains credulity according to one industrial law expert familiar with the case.

Many of his former staff think it’s a bit rich he’s asking for any money at all when he didn’t do a good job and had young journos on staff on very low pay, some below $40K per annum.

“He was no crusader for hard-working low-paid young journalists, that’s for sure, his snout wasn’t so much in the trough as seeking out truffles with his elitist foodie toff missus,” one told VEXNEWS this morning, reflecting that the paper was now working much better under Phil Gardiner and Simon Pristel.

Apelgren, believed to be independently wealthy, has been apparently urging Guthrie along in his quest to “punish” his former bosses at the Herald Sun for daring to give him his marching orders.

But while the focus of Guthrie’s anger is on the bosses, the fact is that his former editorial staff  – young and old – were also extremely unhappy with him. The real story of Guthrie’s sacking wasn’t about a tall poppy clashing with peers but a grassroots revolt of the Herald Sun staff who thought him a dilettante, a poser and someone whose news sense was very much stuck in the early 1990s Sunday Age mindset.

The court will hear much about all that so we’ll save a comprehensive account for then.

For now we’ll settle on a unique insight into the world of  Bruce Guthrie and his rich foodie spouse who were much channeling Christine Nixon the night of Black Saturday, on Twitter Apelgren wrote:

How it hurts to think back a year, oblivious to the heartbreak of others, we in the city dined with friends, cursing the heat and haze…

She’s a tough mama too, one tweet had the foodie pondering whether she should boot her son out of home:

My son just bought home Pop Tarts. Do I kick him out?

The Nordic lady is a tad disapproving in her tone, as we might expect from any food critic, but she makes it clear she doesn’t like dogs and that’s clearly proof she’s a bad egg (devilled):

Is it just me or should waitresses at breakfast and dog friendly gastro pubs not pat the canine clientele so enthusiastically while working?

And perhaps ominously for the greedy litigant Bruce, she seems unimpressed by his performance of his husbandly duty. When they went on a dirty weekend, she seemed much more impressed by the scrambled eggs and the hotel room than anything he could offer:

Creamy scrambled eggs and charrycrisp barossa bacon make breakfast at provenance worth spending the night for…and the elegant mod suites



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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andrew Landeryou, David Hutt, Asia Pacific Brief, vexnews, Helen Lowell and others. Helen Lowell said: BRUCE GUTHRIE: Sacked editor's dirty linen to be aired: VEXNEWS (blog) His wife, Janne Apelgren, now the editor of… http://bit.ly/cXFV7a […]

    Posted by Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | BRUCE GUTHRIE: Sacked editor’s dirty linen to be aired -- Topsy.com | April 26, 2010, 10:09
  2. Now they just have to find a replacement for the Latte Leftie, Jill Singer.

    Posted by Ben | April 26, 2010, 11:14
  3. Why shouldnt he get as much as he can? Not like Rupert is short of coin.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 26, 2010, 14:15
  4. what a greedy greedy man.

    Posted by good riddens | April 26, 2010, 22:23
  5. add him to the list of people that will get shot once the revolution occurs.

    Posted by blackmambo | April 26, 2010, 23:17
  6. Why shouldnt he get as much as he can? Not like Rupert is short of coin.

    Posted by Sean | April 27, 2010, 12:03
  7. I’ve only ever known the Guthries as a wonderful family,(with a gorgeous old pet dog, Tilly). They have been more than good friends to my daughters and me, and we are far from the ‘toffie’ category.
    You Journo types can be so unkind to each other.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 27, 2010, 12:06
  8. As a bittelry disenchanted former HWT employee, I confess bemusement at this piece.

    Whatever Age-style elitism Guthrie brought the paper and whatever disgruntlement at his methods at the time, I don’t recall them being anyhwrere near as widespread as you make out at the time (and, yes, I was there).

    Things going better under Phil Gardiner and Simon Pristel? Who’s feeding you this stuff? Presumably, someone not subject to the thuggery, bullying and brutality that has become commonplace in that sad place.

    As well, if you’re going to run this sort of hatchet job, why not at least make passing mention of the Janet Calvert Jones/Peter Blunden aspects, along with the Christine Nixon angle – on which Guthrie is now looking pretty spiffy.

    And who knows? Maybe the Pauline Hanson story/pics may not have run had Guthrie been holding the reins.

    Posted by WhatAJoke | April 27, 2010, 14:43
  9. Gardner is still pinching himself that he got the gig after only ever wanting to abandon Adelaide for a daily newspaper editorship. Pristel is one of life’s great pretenders.

    Posted by Portnoy | April 27, 2010, 17:13
  10. i find it totally disgusting that as a journalist you find it appropriate to publish an article of this nature. it is articles like this that not only destroy the credibility of people whom i know happen to be one of the loveliest, most caring and considerate families that i have ever had the pleasure of being acquainted with; but you do yourself a great disservice to yourself and both the journalistic profession with your snide, facetious and totally unfounded remarks. Your opinion most certainly isn’t newsworthy, that picture you created is entirely distasteful and you deserve every consequence that comes from publishing a piece of trash like this.

    Posted by anonymous | April 30, 2010, 11:40
  11. First of all I think it is outrageous that any person could write such a crap article based entirely on fiction and speculation about the Guthrie family. Any one who has ever met this family would find the above allegations and portrayal of Bruce and Jan insane. To anyone who thought it reasonable to give their point of view on an issue concerning a family they have never met, you obviously need to find something more fulfilling in you lives. Why don’t you check your facts and write a decent article worth reading instead of trying to figure out how to create an offensive picture with a rat in it. You are an offence to journalism and I believe you are the dog hater.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 30, 2010, 14:58
  12. This is a pathetic excuse for an article.
    I can only assume that Mr Guthrie has done something terrible to you. Otherwise, such merciless abuse of a fellow human being and his family cannot be described as anything other than heartless.
    What makes you think your opinions are either valid or accurate?
    Quotes from Twitter and “anonymous sources” hardly serve as a basis for an article.

    Posted by anonymous | April 30, 2010, 22:00
  13. Clearly, if you waste your time writing hateful articles about people you have never met (I assume….otherwise you would not be saying things about a man who I consider to be upstanding and honorable)then you are not an upstanding member of society either. You have no right to criticise people in this way, nor make such vile assumptions about their private lives.
    Get life, Andrew
    And stop getting so excited about photoshop. That picture is so bad, it’s laughable.

    Posted by Disgusted | April 30, 2010, 22:06
  14. I’ve heard much worse things about Blunden. I’d like to see what your take is in regards to him, given your incredibly harsh stance on Guthrie, who is not remotely as repelling.

    Posted by phamilton | April 30, 2010, 23:08
  15. This article is absolutely foul. How dare you jump to conclusions about this family!
    What you have written is nothing short of wrong assumptions based on shocking research.
    As someone previously wrote (and i’d like to reiterate) this is an embarrasement and an offense to journalism.
    Bruce is, as I believe, a man of extreme intelligence and brilliant at what he does. You, Andrew, should take a page out of his book, and learn to be a proper journalist.
    You are a sad sad person for writing such horrible and immature information.

    Posted by Anonymous | April 30, 2010, 23:17
  16. This article is nothing short of ill-researched garbage and complete non-sense. As previously written (and i’d like to reiterate) this is an embarrasement and offense to journalism.
    Bruce is, as I believe, extremely intelligent and brilliant at what he does. You, Andrew, should take a page out of his book and learn a thing or too about professional journalism. Starting with fact not fiction.
    Sorry, but referring to his wife’s twitter is a new low in amateur reporting.
    You sad sad man.

    Posted by anonymous | April 30, 2010, 23:26
  17. Andrew, how could you commit to this douchebaggery

    Posted by anonymous | April 30, 2010, 23:27
  18. [deleted]

    Posted by anon | May 1, 2010, 0:49
  19. dirty laundry? So far it has the initials “PB” embroidered on it

    Posted by Anonymous | May 4, 2010, 11:06
  20. so far all the dirty laundry has “PB” smeared all over it

    Posted by Anonymous | May 4, 2010, 12:10
  21. For all of those that stand by this man, he is nothing but a pompus twit with inflated sense of self….This is coming from the “little people”. I’ve seen it and experienced it first hand!

    Posted by anonymous | May 5, 2010, 14:25
  22. Yes, all true, I’m sure. But it’s all relative – he may be “a pompus twit with inflated sense of self”, but then again he isn’t a bully or thug or perjurer.

    Posted by hoho | May 11, 2010, 11:49
  23. Gurthie is an air head. Only Hartigan could think him an intellectual. Noit unpleasant. No thug. But he is up himself. Which seems to be the number one criterion in appointments at News Ltd.

    Posted by Ellen | May 23, 2010, 16:36