Published on 03 June 2019
Staff across the University have joined those paying tribute to Visiting Professor and leading radio broadcaster, John Myers, who sadly died on Saturday at the age of 60.
John was a personal friend of Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graeme Thompson, who said: “We were devastated to hear that our friend John Myers collapsed and died on Saturday afternoon. He’d been on a long-planned trip to Scotland with his wife to celebrate his 60th birthday. He was also celebrating 12 months cancer free following a gruelling series of treatments for throat cancer.
“John was an inspiring and passionate supporter of the University and he used his influence and networks to help countless students and graduates into placements and work experience. His own career has been stellar and he’s regarded as the most successful executive in British commercial radio. Jeremy Vine described him as the ‘Best Controller Radio 2 Never Had’.
“He was a particular friend of Spark and was always ready to offer his advice and guidance. It’s been a terrible shock to those of us lucky to count his as a friend.”
Senior Lecturer in Radio, Richard Berry, posted on Twitter: “Really sad to wake up this morning to hear that John Myers has passed. He visited @sunderlanduni many times and was very supportive of what we did and most importantly of our students. He was a true radio great on and off the air #RIPTeam.”
John’s son Scott announced the former BBC Radio Cumbria and Border TV presenter's death on social media, saying the family was "heartbroken".
Scott described his father as "our hero" and added: "He went through life with a smile, his glass was always half full and no matter how much life got you down he always found the humour."
John Myers was born in Carlisle and became a leading figure in the radio industry - setting up stations, advising the government and winning awards. He started his career with BBC Radio Cumbria in 1980 and presented for other stations including BBC Radio Tees.
After working for Border TV, John went on to launch commercial radio station CFM in Carlisle and then Century Radio in North-East England.
In 2009 the government asked him to produce a review of the UK's local radio industry. He later undertook a review of the BBC's music and local radio operations.
In recent years he was a visiting professor at the University of Sunderland and lived in Newcastle.