Tributes have poured in for Martin Robinson – a one-time weekly editor who enjoyed a mid-career renaissance by switching successfully to freelancing.
Martin, a former Uppingham School pupil, started in weekly newspapers with the Sutton Coldfield News and the Warley News in the late 1960s before going on to edit the flagship Solihull News for 12 years.
His ‘conversion’ to a freelancing free spirit from 1989 saw him work across the Midland publishing scene in newspapers and PR including stints on the Sunday Mercury, Tamworth Herald and helping edit IM Express, the International Motors’ magazine.
Former Dudley Herald and Central TV journalist Mart Gottschalk said: “I first met Martin in 1967 when we were both kids. He was a junior reporter on the Sutton News and I was on the West Bromwich, Oldbury and Smethwick Midland Chronicle.
“Martin was the quintessential local newspaperman and was one of those rare people who began and ended his career on weeklies.
“Many people who worked for him went on to successful careers in Fleet Street, TV and radio.
“He had a rather crusty manner, but fundamentally he was one of the most decent people you could ever wish to meet, devoted to his family.
“He will be remembered as one of the last old-style weekly newspaper editors.”
His widow Sue, also a well-known West Midland journalist for many years who worked for the Birmingham Post and Mail, Tamworth Herald and Lichfield Mercury, said: “Martin was a long-serving weekly editor when paid-for weeklies were a real force in journalism.
“He later enjoyed a varied career as a freelance in newspapers and PR and was very well-known right across the West Midlands journalistic community.”
“He was a newspaperman to his fingertips, and a witty and entertaining companion who instinctively saw through the pretence and nonsense in life. Many people both in and out of newspapers will miss Martin a great deal.”
The funeral of the Sutton Coldfield-born journalist is expected to be held later this month at St Leonard’s Church, Wigginton, followed by a wake in the Old Crown pub. More details will follow on HoldtheFrontPage.