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Richard Findlay CBE

Richard Findlay CBE

At World of Radio we were saddened to hear the news of the death of RICHARD FINDLAY CBE, one of the greatest pioneers of commercial radio in the UK. He gave us and many others in the radio industry considerable encouragement.

Born a Scorpio in 1943, Richard worked as an actor for a time in theatre and television after graduating at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. He then moved into radio with RADIO SCOTLAND, which was based on a former light ship in the Firth of Forth.

He joined the BBC and was seconded to the Ministry of Overseas Development where he helped assist the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launch an English language service as well as an English language newspaper. In the 1970s he was involved in the creation of CAPITAL RADIOin London, where he became Duty News Editor. 

Richard later moved back to Scotland the following August (1974) to help launch RADIO FORTH in Edinburgh, where he was Programme Director. Within three years the board appointed him Managing Director, a post he held for many years.

He always had time to help others, especially 'wannabe' radio enthusiasts.  He also became Honorary President (Rector) at the Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh in 1986 and served on the University Court and Senate for three years. He was a member of the Scottish Educational Council, a Director of the Royal Observatory (Edinburgh) Trust and was involved in many other community iniatives and organisations in Scotland's capital.

In 1991 Radio Forth merged with Radio Clyde, and Richard joined the main board of SCOTTISH RADIO HOLDINGS.  Five years later he was made Group Chief Executive where he oversaw its growth into a multi-media conglomerate encompassing radio, newspaper and outdoor advertising media throughout Scotland and Ireland.

Despite his often heavy workload, Richard was always very generous with his time and helped many new radio recruits develop their careers. he was also instrumental in helping other radio businesses and gave us considerable help.  We well remember his time and assistance giving us guided tours of his favourite parts of Scotland when we visited, always managing to find an old radio story around every corner.

His interests were extensive and he was invited by the Secretary of State for Scotland  to serve as a director of the Lothian Health Board (the second largest in Scotland) where he later became Chairman of the Board.

In 2001 Richard became the first non-executive director of a leading Scottish law firm, McGrigor Donald, one of the UK's Top 50 law firms with branches in eight cities as well as the Middle East and the Falklands. 

Richard had many non-media interests too and was also a director of Iatros Limited, a biotech company involved in developing new blood cleansing products. He was also involved in a company developing educational apps, based in London and was an active investor in small businesses and property.

Richard continued his interest in radio through his son Adam Findlay and New Wave Media, based in Dundee, which runs radio stations in Aberdeen (Original 106), Dundee (WAVE 102), Stirling (Central FM) and Perth, as well as online station Farming FM.

In the 1990s he chaired the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, and became a Governor at his old school the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he was also made a Fellow. He was made a CBE for services to the Arts & Creative Industries in 2013 and two years later became Chairman of Creative Scotland.

Richard passed away peacefully at his home in Edinburgh after a short illness last month; he leaves a wife Elspeth, two sons Adam and Paul and a daughter Hannah. 




Richard Findlay

CBE

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Richard Findlay (pensive)