Got a solution. Instead of doing away with the thread or patching the leak that allows one to find out these things early, how about handing over the reins to SCPM?
On the one hand, that would solve the problem (they'd just need to confirm things to SCPM first, of course). On the other, it'd be another community-leader-to-community thread, no longer one of the last remaining (albeit usually inactive) traces of those friendly open channels between staff and community.
Yeah, but they're also talking about dropping it altogether which has the same effect on their community involvement: going from very little to very little-er. At least this way the guessing and discussion continue.