8th July 2017

Broadcasting magnate Richard Findlay dies

Richard Findlay was born Dietrich Barth, in Berlin, in November 1943, and lost his father before the end of the Second World War. He came to Edinburgh and took the name Richard Findlay when his mother married Captain Ian Findlay, whom she met in Germany, and the couple moved their family back to Findlay’s native Scotland.

His obituary in The Herald of 19 July 2017 explains that he and his sister “had to learn English quickly, which they did through the pages of comics such as the Dandy and the Beano… With his mother speaking English in an American accent, and with post-war anti-German sentiments rife, Mr Findlay was smart enough to cover his tracks by pretending his mother actually was American.”

Broadcasting career

Richard became an actor and radio announcer, was employed in London at independent station Capital Radio, then returned to Scotland to work at Forth Radio, where he was the first voice heard on air upon its launch, and he eventually became Chief Executive. This was just the start of an impressive and varied career in media that saw him set up the National Theatre of Scotland, take the role of chairman of STV, and set up a publishing business.

The Scotsman’s obituary, on 19 July 2017, outlined the success of this venture, in which Findlay helped found Score Press “to acquire and operate local newspapers. The division grew to 45 weeklies in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. When he stood down as chief executive, the group was sold shortly afterwards to Emap, in 2004, for £394 million.”

Findlay died just a week after stepping down as chairman of the arts funding body, Creative Scotland, on the grounds of ill-health. He is buried at Edinburgh’s Dean Cemetery, where his headstone is topped by a sculpture of an old radio.



Other events that occured in July

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