Former Nine Chief & TV “Starmaker” Sam Chisholm Passes Away

Former Nine Chief & TV “Starmaker” Sam Chisholm Passes Away

TV veteran and former Nine CEO Sam Chisholm has passed away at the age of 78 following a short illness.

Born in New Zealand, Chisholm was a revered figure in Australia’s media industry. He was in charge of Kerry Packer’s Nine Network during the 1980s before moving to the UK to work for Rupert Murdoch and his BSkyB business.

Chisholm returned to Australia in 2005 as the acting CEO of Nine after receiving a double lung transplant.

The following is a statement from a Nine spokesperson:

Sam Chisholm was CEO at Nine in two stints: first in the halcyon television days of the 80s and early 90s, and then briefly in 2005.

In that first role, he was always regarded as a pugnacious go-getter; the so-called ‘starmaker’ at Nine with a big chequebook and loud opinions. Nicknamed a legend in his own lunchtime for his lavish lifestyle at work and play – and the man who popularised the phrase “losers have meetings, but winners have parties”.

Always controversial and a larger than life figure, he left Nine for Britain and Murdoch’s BSkyB and returned 10 years later to a very different and challenging world in Australian television.

Nine recognises the unique role he played with the Network and for Australian television and sends their condolences to the extended family and friends on his passing today, in particular his wife Sue and daughter Caroline.

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  • Anthony Crawford 2 years ago

    Back in the late 80s I once cold called Sam at his home on the North Shore to pitch a motoring series (Behind the Wheel which we eventually sold to Ten) and he invited me up to his house to pitch it. I was so nervous going in but pitched it anyway and he said it wouldn’t work. We sold it to 10 a year later. At least he gave me his time.

Nine Sam Chisholm

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