David Leckie, a giant figure of the Australian television industry, has died at the age of 70.
In a statement circulated to Australian media, his family said: “With immense sadness we advise the passing of our adored and much-loved husband and father, David Leckie. David passed away at Mulberry Farm, Robertson after a long illness this morning. He was surrounded by his loving family.”
During a distinguished 40-year executive career, Leckie served as the CEO of Seven West Media, which owns Seven Network, while he was previously the boss of Nine Network for 11 years from 1990.
Seven West Media Chairman, Kerry Stokes, said: “I had a close association and friendship with David for more than 20 years and finally enticed him to Seven in 2003, when he started the difficult process of turning around the network’s fortunes. David achieved the turnaround quickly and effectively, building a winning team, financial and programming model, which delivered us leadership of the TV industry for many years.
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“He had a magnificent grasp of television and what people wanted to enjoy, whether it be news and current affairs or light entertainment programming, and he achieved success in every aspect of his leadership of Seven. He leaves a great legacy and I pass on my sympathies to Skye, Harry, Ben and Tim and the rest of his family, who he loved very much.”
Nine CEO Mike Sneesby added: “He contributed enormously to the success we all shared with him here at Nine, his instincts and leadership heralded the golden era of Australian television. He adored his family and so many of us stayed in touch as a friend even after he left. He set the culture of excellence at Nine that still exists in our DNA today and we thank him for that. We extend our deepest sympathies to wife Skye and his two sons Harry and Ben Leckie.”
Here’s 7NEWS Australia’s report on Leckie’s death: