As I always say, Scoop isn't really fiction. From John Gaskell's obituary in the Telegraph today:
Plagued by ill-health, Gaskell reduced his commitments to working half a week so that he could write a novel about obituaries. Unfortunately, he mentioned this to a man he was interviewing, and the man then sold the idea to a publisher as his own. The shorter hours, however, saved Gaskell’s bacon when there was a cull of staff. Some weeks later he went to have his contract renewed, and was told that the management had forgotten him: “We meant to sack you.”
Sadly, I suspect that these days there'd be no escaping the axe. One of the sadder developments in publishing - of both books and newspapers - is the business's increased professionalism. At least the people running the ink trades think they're more professional than their bumbling predecessors even if you, the dear reader, might not think so to judge from the papers and books they produce...