GOTTLIEBSEN, ROBERT (1941– )
Having joined Melbourne’s Herald in 1959 as an 18-year-old general cadet, reporting police rounds, radio, racing and football, Robert Gottliebsen began a storied career in finance when he was transferred to the business section, then poached by the Age. After a year with (Sir) Frank Packer’s failed Australian Financial Times, he spent two years with the Sydney Morning Herald before returning to Melbourne as the bureau chief of the Australian Financial Review (AFR). Gottliebsen succeeded in reviving the AFR, recently hamstrung by mass defections to the new Australian, through a series of scoops about BHP, Australia’s largest company but among its most inscrutable. His trademark became the informative but breezy corporate profile accessible to the lay reader.
For five years from 1969, the headiest days of the Poseidon boom, Gottliebsen worked with the high-flying stockbroking firm Patricks, although he also contributed anonymously to the Bulletin’s celebrated ‘Wildcat’ column. He rejoined the AFR in June 1974 as it was about to go daily, inaugurating its enduring ‘Chanticleer’ column: entertaining, well-informed and strewn with personalities, it was read by professionals and retail investors alike. He won a Walkley Award in 1976 and the Graham Perkin Award for Australian Journalist of the Year in 1977.
Handing ‘Chanticleer’ on to Alan Kohler in 1980, Gottliebsen became the founding editor of Business Review Weekly (BRW, 1981–2013) when it was devised as an insert for the National Times to counter Kerry Packer’s new fortnightly Australian Business (1980–91), then redesigned as a stand-alone title. After three years, he stepped back from editorial responsibilities to work as a writer, and to help found BRW’s successful stablemates, Personal Investment (est. 1983) and Shares (1996), which later merged. He also became a popular broadcaster with the ABC, hosting Business Daily on ABC Asia Pacific.
From 2000, Gottliebsen was business commentator for the Australian. In 2007, he joined Kohler at the pioneering Business Spectator website and became its most-read columnist.
REF: Personal information from R. Gottliebesen.