'Down Under' is now an unlikely destination for the next career move by Dough Flynn, the Australian chief executive of London-headquartered media-buying and market research conglomerate Aegis Group.

In past weeks there have been persistent rumours that the combative Aussie, a former Murdoch henchman, was negotiating with Australia's second largest media company, the John Fairfax Group, to replace departing ceo Fred Hilmer [WAMN: 27-Jan-05].

But straight from the horse's mouth (Fairfax flagship, the Sydney Morning Herald) comes a nod that is as good as a wink to a blind nag. The newspaper's headline this morning is unequivocal: 'Flynn Crossed Off List For New Fairfax CEO', it read.

This was followed by a terse comment from Fairfax chairman Dean Wills: "I doubt now that we'll be able to make an announcement [on a replacement] in February.

"Naturally, if we haven't appointed anybody at this stage then we have to [look elsewhere]. So it may well be a new candidate. There are some other irons in the fire and if they come good we could make it earlier rather than later."

Pursuing the equine analogy, it is believed that a horse called 'Flynn's Fortune' fell at the final fence - marked with a sign reading 'A$ 000'.

Data sourced from Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff