Eric Beecher first told me of his plans to launch a 24/7 free online version of The Australian Financial Review, his conversation rippled with excitement. Here was a man skilled and crafted by Fairfax Media and News Ltd, throwing down the gauntlet to the "old firm" by daring to establish a "new media" outlet called The Business Spectator. And what a beauty she is. Within days News Ltd responded with a lunchtime The Australian Business Briefing email newsletter featuring breaking views – and within weeks, the AFR.com website opened itself to limited "glasnost". Beecher and Di Gribble formed Private Media Partners in 2003 when they sold their previous start-up, Text Media, to
Fairfax. Last month he was presented the Walkley award for Journalistic Leadership for his "ongoing entrepreneurialism and his commitment to innovation and investment in the future of quality journalism". Eric and Di are my idols for 2007.
* Eric Beecher and Di Gribble are part-owners of SmartCompany.com.au.
Nominated by: Terence Maher