The judges recognised Coleridge for his "spectacular and varied career" in journalism, publishing, books, fashion and the arts.
He began as a columnist for the Evening Standard and editor of Harper’s & Queen, before spending more than a quarter of a century at Condé Nast including as editorial director, managing director and president of Condé Nast International, overseeing titles including Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair and Tatler.
Campaign has described him as "magazines’ most compelling advocate".
Coleridge has served as chairman of the PPA, the British Fashion Council, Fashion Rocks and the Victoria & Albert Museum and has been awarded a CBE.
He has also published 12 books and is writing a 13th, his memoirs.
Kevin Costello, the chief executive of Haymarket Media Group, the owner of Campaign, presented the award to Coleridge at a black-tie dinner at the Park Lane Hilton.
Coleridge told the audience he felt he had been "lucky" to enjoy a 44-year career in media.
He said: "The media world that I have been lucky enough to inhabit, first in mags, then in newspapers, then in books and then in glossy magazines again, has been glamorous and competitive and profitable – for them and for me in that order – and gossipy and mischievous – everything that I enjoy.
"I have been very lucky that my career has coincided with the golden years of print and extended into the dawn of the digital world.
"I have been lucky to have worked with so many clever and famous and indulgent bosses – Ann Barr, Tina Brown, Mark Boxer, Louis Kirby, Terry Mansfield, the Newhouse family of New York most of all.
"And if I have learnt anything, it’s that so much depends on luck and timing."
He added that he had made many of his friendships through the media and recalled how he had met his future wife in a magazine office when she was doing an internship the day after she had left school – "that would not, of course, be allowed today," he conceded to laughter.
Previous winners of the Outstanding Contribution to British Media award include former Pearson chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino, former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger and Time Out founder Tony Elliott.
Coleridge stepped down as managing director of Condé Nast Britain last year, when he wrote an article for Campaign in which he described how "magazines are a medium of illusion that bedazzles".
Find out more at the British Media Awards website.