Tributes have been paid to Radio Clyde founder and former VisitScotland chairman Jimmy Gordon after he died at the age of 83.
Lord Gordon of Strathblane, a Labour peer, died on Tuesday at Glasgow Royal Infirmary after reportedly contracting Covid-19.
A statement from his family said he would be “missed so much” and paid tribute to “his generosity, his kindness and his enthusiasm for life”.
Former First Minister Jack McConnell said Lord Gordon had “an outstanding career in business and public service” and had “transformed broadcasting”.
The Radio Academy of Scotland wrote: “Such sad news to learn of the passing of the Father of Scottish Radio, Lord Gordon of Strathblane. Jimmy passed away peacefully on Tuesday. Our thoughts are with Anne and their three children and four grandchildren. Rest in Peace Jimmy.”
Gordon was educated at St Aloysius College in Glasgow and did a Master of Arts degree at the University of Glasgow. In 1964 he contested the East Renfrewshire seat for Labour at the General Election.
He became political editor at STV and in 1973 he became managing director of the newly formed Radio Clyde, where he remained in his role at Radio Clyde until 1996, before moving to become chairman of Scottish Radio Holdings in 2005.
Gordon also served on the board of the Scottish Development Agency – Scotland’s then major economic development agency – and as a director at Clydeport.
He was chair of the Scottish Tourist Board – which went on to become VisitScotland – and chair of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. Gordon also served on the Scottish advisory board of BP, as a director of the then Johnston Press and chair of the AIM Trust.
In 1984, Gordon was awarded a CBE and in 1997 he was made a life peer by Labour as Baron Gordon of Strathblane.
He remained a member of the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, which paid tribute saying: “Jimmy had been a committed member of the Committee since 2017, as well as from 2009 to 2013. We will miss him dearly and send our condolences to his family.”
University of Glasgow principal Professor Anton Muscatelli said: “Desperately sad news for all of us at the University of Glasgow – Jimmy Gordon was a proud alumnus and long-standing supporter of the University. Deepest condolences to his family.”
Broadcasting industry body Radiocentre said: “The Radiocentre team was very sad to learn of the death of our friend Jimmy Gordon. He was a major figure in commercial radio throughout his career and keen supporter of the Radiocentre. He’ll be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Broadcaster Paul Coia wrote: “At Radio Clyde as a starry eyed young boy, the CEO offered me paid leave to go back to Uni and finish my degree. What a boss! Today, that man, arguably one of the saviours of commercial radio, died. RIP Lord James Gordon of Strathblane. I haven’t forgotten.”