While studying for degrees in arts and medicine in Sydney during the 1960s, Richard Walsh was heavily involved in magazine publication, most significantly with the irreverent Oz magazine. During this period he also contributed material to the satirical comedy sketch series The Mavis Bramston Show (q.v.).
After completing his medical degree in 1967, Walsh took a break from medicine to become a copywriter with the advertising firm J Walter Thompson. Walsh did not return to medicine, but continued with the media, publishing Oz until 1970, editing Australia's first highbrow women's magazine, POL, in 1968, and editing the Sunday Review (later Nation Review) in 1970.
Walsh worked for only one year on the Sunday Review, leaving to become managing director at Angus & Robertson in 1972 and remaining with the firm until 1986. He then became head of the Australian Consolidated Press (ACP) after a short period as editor of the Australian Women's Weekly. Walsh left ACP (now PBL) in 1999, and has since worked as a media consultant and lecturer. He is also a director of the publicly listed HWW Ltd and Text Media Ltd and was previously a director of PBL and Cinema Plus.
Walsh has written many articles and a number of books, including Ferretabilia: Life and Times of Nation Review (1993) and is the editor of Great Eulogies (2008). In addition to his editing career and televsion, Walsh written for the theatre.