Crikey.com.au front page from 21 February 2007.
Type of site
|Owner||Private Media Pty. Ltd.|
Crikey is an Australian electronic magazine comprising a website and email newsletter available to subscribers. Crikey was described by former Federal Opposition Leader Mark Latham as the "most popular website in Parliament House" in The Latham Diaries. In 2014 it had around 17,000 paying subscribers.
Crikey was founded by activist shareholder Stephen Mayne, a journalist and former staffer of then Liberal Victorian premier Jeff Kennett. It developed out of Mayne's "jeffed.com" website, which in turn developed out of his aborted independent candidate campaign for Kennett's seat of Burwood. Longstanding Crikey political commentators/reporters have included former Liberal insider Christian Kerr (who originally wrote under the pseudonym "Hillary Bray"),Guy Rundle, Charles Richardson, Bernard Keane, Mungo MacCallum and Hugo Kelly.
In 2003 Stephen Mayne, the then proprietor, was forced to sell his house in order to settle defamation cases brought by radio presenter Steve Price and former ALP senator Nick Bolkus over false statements published about them by Crikey.
Staff of then treasurer Peter Costello banned Crikey from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 budget 'lock ups', in which financial journalists are shown the federal budget papers some hours in advance so that their publications can report the budget in depth as soon as it is released, on the grounds that Crikey is not considered to be part of the "mainstream media".
On 1 February 2005, it was announced that Stephen Mayne had sold Crikey to Private Media Partners, a company, owned by former Editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald, Eric Beecher, for A$1 million. Under the agreement, Mayne has occasionally written for the email newsletter.
Under PMP's stewardship the publication aimed for "professional" style, avoiding the use of in-house nicknames and other idiosyncrasies of the original Crikey. In February 2006, The Age reported that a co-founder and writer, Hugo Kelly, had been sacked for reasons the company claimed were on the grounds of professional misconduct but which Kelly maintained because they had "no guts".