Martin Brooks has extensive experience in leading large editorial teams, managing change and developing television, radio and online services. In a 30-year BBC career, he headed up two of their biggest regions, BBC North and BBC North West, and was part of the small development team that planned the moves of five key BBC departments and 1,500 staff from London to Salford.
His roots are in journalism. After spells working for newspapers and independent local radio, his BBC career started in Manchester where he broke news of the world’s first test-tube baby at Oldham with reports broadcast worldwide. In Leeds, he oversaw coverage of the Bradford City and Hillsborough disasters, and produced an acclaimed documentary from the first Gulf War. In Manchester, he masterminded the region’s response to the Manchester Commonwealth Games including the setting up of a special Games radio station.
He headed a team of 240 in the North West and was in charge of all regional television, including the award-winning North West Tonight, three local radio stations, Radio Manchester, Radio Merseyside and Radio Lancashire, and a series of Where I Live websites.
With a track record of innovation, he launched the first BBC Open Centre and first BBC Bus to make the Corporation more accessible. He also devised a Regional Sports Strategy for the BBC and led national sports rights negotiations with the Premier League, Football League, Football Association and Rugby Football League.
He’s a former Royal Television Society judge, external examiner for Post Grad journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and a Board member of the Museum of Science and Industry. He’s currently on the Board of Oldham Coliseum Theatre, an Assembly member of Salford University and on the Organising Committee of the Nations and Regions Media Conference.