A journalism training boss credited with launching the careers of some of the industry’s biggest stars has died aged 95.
John Brownlee, left, headed the renowned Thomson Regional Newspapers training centre in Newcastle from 1969 until 1983.
Future media glitterati who passed through his hands during the period including Andrew Marr, James Naughtie, Lionel Barber and Sally Magnusson,.
Such was John’s contribution to the centre that it became known as the ‘Brownlee Academy.’
John died after a short illness in the early hours of Friday morning, the day after his 95th birthday.
As well as running the TRN training centre he previously enjoyed a distinguished career in newspapers in his native North East.
Born in Blyth in 1918, he started out as a junior reporter with the Blyth News before his career was interrupted by the Second World War when he served as a petty officer in the Royal Navy.
After the war he began a long association with the Journal and Evening Chronicle, remaining loyal to the titles despite several offers to work for the nationals.
In 1969, he and Walter Greenwood were asked to set up journalist training centres in Newcastle and Cardiff, teaching journalism law, local government and shorthand as well as the essentials of reporting.
Over the next 14 years hundreds of young journalists graduated from the “Brownlee Academy”, with many going on to become leading names in the profession.
In later years he and his wife Margaret settled in North Yorkshire, where he continued to keep in touch with many of his former trainees.
Margaret died earlier this year and John is survived by his son Geoff, the former head of corporate affairs at Yorkshire Television, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
His grandson Nick graduated from the Thomson Training Centre in 1990 and went on to work for the Evening Chronicle.