Crikey searches for new editor with Jason Whittaker to launch The Mandarin

Private Media logoCrikey editor Jason Whittaker is leaving the post to edit Private Media’s new title aimed at public servants, The Mandarin.

Private Media CEO Marina Go said the company had taken its most experienced editor and one who was instrumental in the launch of the Daily Review in December, to spearhead an important new category for the company.

The Mandarin will be aimed at public servants who read Crikey, however Go said it will be a very different product aimed at around 200,000 people with an initial staff of six in commercial and editorial roles.

“The Mandarin is much more about trends and policies and information that the public sector requires to make decisions and to grow professionally, so it’s a very different product,” Go told Mumbrella.

The Mandarin is the brainchild of chairman Eric Beecher who saw an opportunity to reach an audience underserved by the country’s media, and the title has recruited some of Australia’s most senior former bureaucrats as advisers including former Treasury secretary Ken Henry, businesswoman Lucy Turnbull and Graeme Samuel, the former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“As a company we are focused on the business and government sectors and, we’re looking at opportunities that are currently underserved and for us this was a glaring opportunity,” she told Mumbrella.

Whittaker joined Crikey four years ago and was made editor in April 2012. He previously worked in B2B publishing.

Go said: “Every launch that we do needs to be executed extremely well and we feel he is the right person to do that. The content is very different from Crikey but a good editor understands an audience and delivers content that’s right for the product.”

Private Media are now in the process of hiring a publisher for The Mandarin as well as an editor for Crikey. Whittaker will work with Beecher and Private Media editor-in-chief Sophie Black to recruit a new team for The Mandarin, and move over when a new editor has been secured for Crikey.

“This is Eric Beecher’s baby, it was his idea and he’s very passionate about this segment,” she said. “It’s a very important category for us.”

The new editor for Crikey will need to be “someone who’s curious and prepared to push the boundaries”, Go said.

 Megan Reynolds


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