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Eric Beecher | The Facts

Eric Beecher is a former editor and executive for Fairfax, having written for The Age serving as the "youngest ever editor of The Sydney Morning Herald" at the age of 33. In 1990, Mr. Beecher co-founded The Text Media Group. Mr. Beecher sold Text Media Group to Fairfax Media in 2003 for more than $60 million. According to Independent Australia, this was described as a “sweetheart deal” with Mr. Beecher managing to “convince Fred Hilmer, the then new CEO of Fairfax, who had absolutely no previous media experience, to pay a whopping $64.7 million for Text.”

Media Baron, Eric Beecher, with the text "Eric Beecher" foregrounded.

In 2005 Mr. Beecher then purchased Crikey for $1 million from former Liberal Party staffer, Stephen Mayne. Prior to Mr. Beecher’s purchase of Crikey, the outlet was described as operating from “the spare rooms of a modest suburban house in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs,” with the decision to sell ascribed to the desire to “take Crikey to the next level.” As of 2022, Crikey was described by Media Watch host and shareholder, Paul Barry, as hosting “11 journalists and around 25,000 subscribers.”

As of 2018 Mr. Beecher is the Chair of both Private Media, the parent company of Crikey, The Mandarin, and Smart Company, and Solstice Media, which owns The New Daily and InDaily. He is also a founding shareholder and chairman of Business Specatator and Eureka Report. Crikey’s other major shareholders include media barons JB Fairfax and Cameron O’Reilly. In 2021 Mr. Fairfax commented regarding his investment into the outlet:

“We went to invest in Crikey and we were concerned about that because at the time Crikey - I don’t want to put [activist and writer] Stephen Mayne down - but it didn’t have a great reputation,” Mr Fairfax said. “It’s changed altogether now under [chairman] Eric Beecher and [editor-in-chief] Peter Fray. They’re doing a very good job there although a lot of my friends come up and say ‘it’s far too left’. People will see things as they want to see them.”

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