John Blake (journalist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Blake
Born (1948-11-06) November 6, 1948 (age 65)
Occupation journalist and publisher

John Blake (born 6 November 1948, Hitchin, Hertfordshire) is a British journalist and publisher.

Early career[edit]

Beginning as a pop columnist for the London Evening News in the early 1970s, his work developed into a column titled "Ad Lib",[1] a gossip column and lifestyle guide. It survived the merger of the Evening News with the Evening Standard. In 1976 he wrote a book about the Rolling Stones's 'Up and Down with the Rolling Stones' with their drug dealer 'Spanish Tony' Sanchez which became a best seller.

Blake was the first editor of 'Bizarre', a column in The Sun launched in May 1982[2] concentrating on celebrity gossip. A tug-of-war subsequently ensued over Blake between The Sun owner Rupert Murdoch and Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell. Maxwell won the bidding war and Blake launched a pop column called "White Hot Club". He was Assistant Editor for the Daily Mirror between 1984 and 1988.[3]

Blake then became editor of Maxwell's Sunday People in 1988, an appointment which lasted until Maxwell decided to appoint a female editor.[4] Blake found himself President of the Mirror Group in the USA in the run-up to Maxwell's anticipated purchase of the National Enquirer, a job which imploded when Maxwell failed to complete the deal.[4] Blake was a producer for Sky TV in 1990.

John Blake Publishing[edit]

He gravitated towards publishing and 'Blake Publishing' was founded in 1991, with Blake working in partnership with his brother, David Blake.[5] After an acrimonious dissolution of the original partnership in March 2002, John Blake went solo.[1] Six months after the company started, he was joined by journalist Rosie Virgo, who went on to become the company's managing director.[6] In 1998 the company published autobiographies by notorious street fighters, Lenny McLean and Roy "Pretty Boy" Shaw. Both books topped The Sunday Times bestseller list.[citation needed] In 2004, Being Jordan by Katie Price was published by Blake after larger firms had rejected the book. While the advance to Price was £10,000, the book, ghost written by Rebecca Farnworth, sold a million copies.[7]

In August 2008 a book published by JBP, On Her Majesty's Service under the name of Ronald Evans, a former bodyguard of Sir Salman Rushdie, had a Declaration of Falsity made against it by a Judge in the High Court for the inclusion of 11 "serious falsehoods" defaming Rushdie.[8] Rushdie did not seek any damages in his legal action.[9]

In 2005 the company won a British Book Award ('Nibbie') as Small Publisher of the Year.[10] In 2010 the company won a second 'Nibbie' as well as the IPA Award for Independent Publisher of the Year.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Danuta Kean "John Blake: Gentleman John", The Bookseller, 13 September 2001, as reproduced on Danuta Kean's website.
  2. ^ Ciar Byrne "Newton returns to edit Bizarre", The Guardian, 18 November 2002
  3. ^ "John Blake Esq Authorised Biography", Debrett's
  4. ^ a b Kercher, John (September 15, 1996). "Printing his own money Hard profit". Mail on Sunday. 
  5. ^ Carter, Meg (June 19, 2001). "Media: My Other Job is Journalism; When Journalists Write Books, Serialisation Rights Can Mean Big Money. Gentleman's Agreements Don't Apply.". The Independent. p. 9. 
  6. ^ http://www.thebookseller.com/news/john-blake-signs-book-mandelas-prison-guard.html
  7. ^ David Sexton "Katie Price knows how to kiss and sell", Evening Standard, 2 September 2009
  8. ^ "Bodyguard apologises to Rushdie", BBC News, 26 August 2008
  9. ^ Mary Jordan "Rushdie Shoots Down Book's False Claims", Washington Post, 27 August 2008
  10. ^ http://www.thestar.com.my/story.aspx?file=%2F2005%2F4%2F17%2Ffeatures%2F10701529&sec=features
  11. ^ http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hachette-wins-three-trade-nibbies.html

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Ernie Burrington
Editor of the Sunday People
1988–1989
Succeeded by
Wendy Henry