Martin J. O'Connor

Martin J. O'Connor (1930 - 1999) was a British television producer and executive. He started his career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 1954 as an assistant sports producer, working primarily in radio, working his way up to full sports production duties. He later moved to Australia where he worked with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as a sports producer for TV and radio. He returned to the UK in 1959 and joined the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as a producer for sports and outside broadcast features, becoming Head of Sport in 1961. He was the Executive Producer for the BBC's coverage of the 1962 and 1966 FIFA Football World Cup, the latter hosted in England by the BBC, and the Commonwealth Games in the same years. He was also Executive Producer for the BBC's coverage of both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games in 1960 and 1964. He regularly oversaw various BBC sports coverage of Rugby, Football and Wimbledon. O'Connor regularly produced the BBC's premier sports shows Grandstand, Sportsview and Sportsnight.

In 1967, he left the BBC to join the London based ITV station Thames Television, ahead of their launch in 1968 as head of Sport. But he returned to the BBC in 1971 to take up the post of Head of Outside Broadcasts, again overseeing coverage of the 1972 and 1976 Olympiads and the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cup and Commonwealth Games as Executive Producer, as well as overseeing most of the BBC's 'live' non-news event coverage, spanning light entertainment and features. In 1977, he was appointed Deputy Controller of BBC1 and through 1979/1980 fulfilled the role of Controller of BBC1 whilst Bill Cotton was recovering from a bout of ill health. In 1982, O'Connor became Managing Director of BBC Television, a post held until 1984. In 1985, he retired from the BBC and became an executive with both Thames Television and Noel Gay TV, overseeing Thames TV's failed bid to retain their ITV franchise in 1991. O'Connor also served on the UK's Government's "Peacock" commission into broadcasting.

He died in 1999.

Name Oconnor, Martin J.
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Date of birth 1930
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Date of death 1999
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