Australian TV Legend David Leckie Dies Aged 70

Australian TV Legend David Leckie Dies Aged 70

Legendary television boss David Leckie has died. Leckie was a former chief executive of Seven West Media and the Nine Network.

His wife Skye and sons Harry and Ben said in a statement to media that he passed away this morning in NSW after battling a long illness. He was 70.

“With immense sadness we advise the passing of our adored and much-loved husband and father, David Leckie,” the statement read.

“David passed away at Mulberry Farm, Robertson, after a long illness this morning. He was surrounded by his loving family.”

Due to COVID restrictions, Leckie will be farewelled at a small, private funeral. The service will be live streamed.

Prior to his appointment by Kerry Stokes to Seven, he was associated with the Nine Network for 23 years. Having joined GTV-9 (Melbourne) as a sales executive, he was promoted to national sales manager, then Nine Network sales director in 1982 at TCN-9 (Sydney).

In August 1990, he became managing director of the Nine Network and in 1994 was appointed chief Executive efficer. In 2001, he was appointed a trustee of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust.

He joined Seven Network in 2003 and led it to the #1 position in ratings and revenue with a powerful line-up of news, sport and entertainment content.

Leckie held several senior roles with the Seven group, including chief executive officer of Seven Network, managing director and chief executive officer of Seven Media Group and Seven West Media, and a director of Seven Network Limited, Seven West Media and Seven Group Holdings.

Seven West Media Chairman, Kerry Stokes AC, 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 in 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.

“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.

“Vale my friend David.”

Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, said: “David was a true legend of the Australian media industry and a loved part of the Seven family. Everyone at Seven will miss him enormously.

“Inspiring, engaging, loud, passionate and famously difficult at times, he was an extraordinary sales person and an intuitive TV programmer. Without a doubt he was the best TV executive this country has ever seen and an important influence and mentor for so many people and careers. He was once labelled the last of the rock star CEOs and I’d say that was a pretty good description.

“David was the reason I got into television and was a great friend. My heartfelt sympathies go to Skye and their boys. There will only ever be one David Leckie. It was a great privilege to have known and worked with him,” Warburton added.

Nine CEO Mike Sneesby said in a statement: “David Leckie was a giant of television.  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.”



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