Martin Jackson, a former editor and publisher of Broadcast, died at the age of 75 on 28 December.

Jackson was a well-known figure in the British media industry, and was a founding director of Television South, before ITV Meridian won the franchise.

He was also a founding member of the Broadcasting Press Guild, and was the guild’s second chairman from 1977-79, and held the post for a second time in 1987.

Jackson was a journalist for 60 years and spent more than two decades working for the national press as the radio and TV editor of the Daily Express before moving to take the same role with the Daily Mail. He was also a panellist on ATV’s original show New Faces and BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

Jackson moved to take over as the editor of Broadcast in 1985 and was responsible for making the magazine more newsy and aggressive in chasing down industry stories. He brought a national newspaper approach to the title with a sharper edge to its coverage and more emphasis on exclusives.

Under Jackson Broadcast moved news to the front page and adopted a newspaper style format.

His tenure saw Broadcast campaign strongly on behalf of the broadcasters in rows with the government over programmes including the BBC’s Real Lives. Broadcast also campaigned on behalf of the hostage John McCarthy.

Jackson went on to become publisher of International Thomson’s Media Group, which included Broadcast, Screen International and TV World.

He remained active as a journalist right up to the end of his life – and dictated his final media column for the Kent Messenger Group’s monthly business title Kent Business from his hospital bed.


Conor Dignam, group editor of Broadcast, said: “Martin continued to contribute his ideas and comments about Broadcast and the industry it covered in letters and columns. When I was in the editor’s chair he would drop me notes about how we had done on stories or areas, and they were always helpful and insightful. He also remained very active with the BPG. He’ll be missed by the industry.”

Former Broadcast editor Lucy Rouse said: “Like other editors of Broadcast before me, I inherited Martin Jackson as part of the furniture of the magazine – a familiar and assured presence who made sense of the space that is the starting point of every issue.

“Martin was passionate about broadcasting and curious to the end, attending Broadcasting Press Guild events despite his failing health. Quite besides his depth of knowledge of the TV industry, Martin was a terribly nice man – a family man, one suspected, and all the better for that.

“He was charming and calm but never lacking an opinion. We never had cross words and that is truly rare in a pressured, some might say highly strung, industry.”

Media PR executive Gerry Buckland said: “I knew Martin through Tom Merrin, TV editor of the Daily Mirror. In 1988 when Tom told Martin I’d got the job as PR director at TVS, the job Martin had held as a founder of the station, Martin was on the phone with solid advice and support. A real gentleman and a professional, and I’m proud to say we stayed friends.”

Martin Jackson’s funeral will be on Thursday 14 January at 15.30, at Hastings Crematorium, The Ridge, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 2AE. And afterwards at his family home at Hawkhurst, Kent. 

More details are available from his daughter Rebekah at or on 01580 753624. If you can, please let Rebekah know if you are likely to attend afterwards.

Family flowers only please. Donations to Hospice in the Weald via KB Sills funeral directors on 01580 712284.