Tributes pour in for former joint GM of Independent Media in KZN

Former joint-general manager of Independent Media in KwaZulu-Natal, Brian Porter.

Former joint-general manager of Independent Media in KwaZulu-Natal, Brian Porter.

Published May 9, 2024


Former joint general manager of Independent Media in KwaZulu-Natal, Brian Porter, whose career at the company spanned over 40 years, died last week at the age of 71.

Pat Acutt, friend and family spokesperson, said Porter, who was born in Fish Hoek in the Western Cape, would be remembered as a good husband, father and friend.

“A couple of years ago, he suffered a fall, which led to an illness that ultimately caused his passing,” Acutt said, adding that Porter leaves his wife Cindy, their two children, grandchildren and extended family.

Acutt said Porter’s career in printing began at the age of 16 as an apprentice lithographer.

Former colleague and friend Gregory Dardagan, who knew Porter for more than 20 years, said he joined the Daily News working in the classified ads department before becoming a property sales representative.

Dardagan said it was not long before Porter’s management skills were noticed and he took up the role of circulation director for the group in KZN, then advertising director and ultimately joint general manager.

“He was an astute newspaper businessman and great character. His name was synonymous with media advertising in KZN for many years, keeping the Independent stable in the province on the front foot until he retired,” said Dardagan.

Dardagan added that Porter had a warm heart and was always prepared to listen, consider and help. “He worked his way to the top but always stayed in touch. He was much loved by many and will be hugely missed.”

Acutt, who became best friends with Porter after they met in the 1980s, said all those who knew Porter considered him to be a man of integrity.

“He was loyal, extremely hardworking and he was known for being an exceptionally kind person who helped many people.”

Sandy Naude, CEO of Africa Community Media, said Porter was a force of nature and formed forever bonds with clients, who became his friends, and his colleagues.

“He ‘owned’ Durban and loved his city with great passion as he did his beloved family,” said Naude.

Helene Cadir, who worked as Porter’s personal assistant for 21 years, said he was the best boss as well as a friend.

“He was always willing to help people. He gave some of the people in circulation and advertising jobs off the streets,” she said.

Livingstone Pillay, national head of circulation who worked with Porter for over 30 years, said: “Brian was the most amazing boss to work with. He never interfered and gave you complete autonomy in the running of your department with 100% support. He always backed his team to the hilt,” he said.

Mazwi Xaba, managing editor for KZN, said Porter was an absolute gentleman, full of energy, jokes and positivity even through the hardest of times, which is common in the media industry.

“In terms of his contribution, I can’t begin to estimate it but he was one without whom we could not have achieved the great strides over the years as Independent KZN,” he said.

Alan Dunn, former editor-in-chief of Independent Media in KZN, said Porter’s loyalty and kindness were the characteristics he remembers from working with him for many years.

“In spite of the highly competitive nature of the industry he served, which he knew so well after more than 40 years in it, he was always ready to assist, develop and mentor colleagues – even from the most senior chair he occupied.

“Measured in terms of his humanity and the business he presided over, Brian was truly successful,” he said.

Porter’s funeral will be held at Grace Church uMhlanga on Friday.

The Mercury