December 10, 2015 by dontbringlulubook
In a long, successful career in journalism, ‘Lulu’ co-author Ron Onions was never sacked. There was just two examples of attempts to question his authority. His departure from Jazz FM has already been written about elsewhere on this blog (https://wordpress.com/post/dontbringlulu.co.uk/1163 ).
But in December 1978, he was making preparations for Christmas with his wife and daughter, having dealt with a move to demote his position as editorial director of LBC and IRN.
The move had come from Sir Geoffrey Cox (one of the founders of Independent Television News or ITN) who had been brought in to LBC and IRN to support another management figure at LBC – George Ffitch.
It had been a lively year at LBC with a journalists’ strike in the summer of 1978. Ron replied to radio critic Gillian Reynolds who wrote that the journalists’ stoppage would encourage Independent Local Radio stations to ask for IRN to be separated from LBC (the two services had always been run out of the same building, Gough Square off Fleet Street in London) and instead run as a subsidiary of all ILR stations.
Ron replied to Reynolds in Broadcast magazine in August 1978 that the reason the stoppage had lasted as long as it did was because LBC had stood by the agreed policy of the Association of Independent Radio Contractors – which represented all the ILR stations.
When there was a move to interfere with Ron’s authority, later in the year, he was in no mood to give in and immediately sort legal advice from Barry Shaw, a lawyer at Wright and Webb, Syrett and Sons in London’s Soho Square.
A letter sending a cheque for £187.92 to the lawyer – signed by Ron – thanked him for dealing with the ‘little local difficulty’ at LBC and that he was much heartened by the outcome.
Ron’s wife, Doris, was merely cross and the exact figure for the lawyer’s fee turned into 200 pounds in future family discussions about the former ITN man’s tilt at the Editorial Director of LBC and IRN.