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Nov 16, 2009

Crikey editor moves to ABC Online

The editor of Crikey, Jonathan Green, has resigned to take up a new post with the ABC. Inside sources say he will be sorely missed.

The editor of Crikey, Jonathan Green, has resigned to take up a new post with the ABC. Green, who worked for The Age before joining Crikey three years ago, said this morning he was leaving because he had achieved what he wanted in “dragging Crikey to a position where it is taken seriously as part of the broad media landscape. I feel it is now, and I feel good about that.”

He said he welcomed the chance to join the ABC at a time when the national broadcaster was “so full of pep and ideas.” Green declined to comment on claims published by the Sunday Age that his departure was partly because of tensions with the recently appointed CEO of Crikey, the founder of stablemate publication SmartCompany.com.au, Amanda Gome.

Green’s new job is as editor of a new ABC project, described by insiders as a web-based “op ed” presence. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Annabel Crabb has also been recruited to the project. Details of the project are to be announced by the ABC later today — but not in time for the Crikey email deadline. See my blog later this afternoon for more.

Crikey publisher and co-owner Eric Beecher said today that he had been told of Green’s departure only on Friday, and had not yet had time to consider his replacement. What was wanted, he said, was someone to “conduct the orchestra…we think our orchestra is playing pretty well, but it could always play better.” He wanted someone who would continue in the current direction, rather than make radical alterations.

Beecher credited Green with taking Crikey to a new stage. “He has done a first class job. Three years ago we didn’t have the depth and diversity of writing and reporting that we have today. Crikey didn’t have the liveliness it has now.”

Writers recruited by Green included Guy Rundle, Bernard Keane and the cartoonist First Dog on the Moon. Green had also been involved with the evolution of the Crikey website.

Asked why Gome had been appointed as CEO of Crikey — a new position — Beecher said that the two companies SmartCompany.com.au and Private Media Partners, the owner of Crikey, were being merged to create a larger media presence. Previously the two companies had been separate entities, while sharing office space and some shareholders.

“Amanda was the obvious candidate for the position of CEO,” Beecher said.

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7 comments

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7 thoughts on “Crikey editor moves to ABC Online

  1. Jeff Waugh

    The frog is dead! Long live the frog!

  2. Ben Harris-Roxas

    I’d be interested in a follow-up piece on this, particularly when in becomes more clear what Green will be up to as part of the ABC’s commenters-at-large secret project.

  3. Jenny

    A sad loss for Crikey. Best of luck, Johnathan.

  4. Guy Rundle

    just on a point of info, i was a regular writer for crikey before the estimable Green came on the scene. however i’d taken a few months hiatus. Green dragged me back in. Thanks, Green. Thanks a lot.

  5. paddy

    Bugger bugger bugger!!
    Where’s the frog when you need him.

    At least you’ve managed to keep us poor subscribers partially informed Margaret.
    It clearly hasn’t been easy on you and I’m truly grateful for your efforts.
    I’m less impressed with Eric Beecher’s silence.
    The guy *can* write, and it would have felt a lot better if he’d addressed the troops (ie: the subscribers) directly.

    Anyway, good luck to Jonathan G. and I hope he’s as good at reviving the ABC online presence as he has been at keeping Crikey on the ball.

    As Margaret has noted. Recruiting Keane, Rundle and FDOTM is a fairly impressive achievement. We’ll bloody miss you J.G. 🙁

  6. Peter CLARKE

    Very best of luck to GreenJ as he enters the sometimes hall-of-mirrors style world at the ABC. Should be an exciting period as the ABC online project unfolds. And what does this say about the current perceived fortunes of public sector media for two high profile journalists (SMH’s Annabel Crabb as well), both essentially from a commercial environment, to be taking this step in their already burnished careers?

  7. Tom McLoughlin

    … and yet ABC shrunk the West Atlas oil spill by a factor of 10 in their news reportage for many weeks.

    Is a good editor someone you never see? You know like a fixer for POTUS?

    Will Ms Gome appoint such as Rundle, Dog, Keane?

    Will Beecher ever get over the slow death of Fairfax or the obviously corrupt News Corp editorial postures?

    Will Google implant a chip in us with an address of a bank in Switzerland, leading to a safety deposit box containing gun, several passports (Jason Bourne) and 15 million dollars?

    All good questions, except maybe the last one.