Legendary former Australian television executive David Leckie has died, aged 70, at his home in the NSW Southern Highlands.
His wife, Skye, and sons Harry and Ben made the announcement in a family statement on Tuesday.
“With immense sadness we advise the passing of our adored and much-loved husband and father, David Leckie,” they said.
“David passed away at Mulberry Farm, Robertson, after a long illness this morning. He was surrounded by his loving family.”
Leckie was CEO of Seven until 2010, then Seven West Media until 2012, before becoming an adviser and leaving the company in 2016.
Before Seven, he led the Nine Network from 1990 to 2001.
Nine CEO Mike Sneesby said Leckie had set a “culture of excellence” for the company.
“David Leckie was a giant of television,” he said in a statement.
“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.”
Tributes for the media personality flowed online.
Retired political journalist Laurie Oakes tweeted that Leckie was a “terrific CEO”.
“Backed me when there was pressure, even from [media tycoon] Kerry Packer,” he wrote.
Sad to hear David Leckie is dead.He was a terrific CEO at Nine. Backed me when there was pressure, even from Kerry Packer.
— LaurieOakes (@LaurieOakes) July 20, 2021
Nine News chief newsreader Peter Overton tweeted that Leckie had given him “enormous opportunities” at the station.
“He had a mighty personality and an extraordinary feel for TV,” Overton wrote.
Very sad to hear of the passing of David Leckie.
A giant of our great TV industry & the man who gave me enormous opportunities at Channel 9. He had a mighty personality & an extraordinary feel for TV. Thinking of Skye and their boys today.
— Peter Overton (@PeterOverton) July 20, 2021
Television presenter Sonia Kruger tweeted: “Big, bold, brash and brilliant … I had the pleasure and privilege of working with the legendary David Leckie and loved every minute.”
Big, bold, brash and brilliant…I had the pleasure and privilege of working with the legendary David Leckie and loved every minute. Sending all my love to Skye and the boys. 🙏💙
— Sonia Kruger (@SoniaKruger) July 20, 2021
Columnist Peter FitzSimons described the “legendary” television executive as an “unreconstructed, unvarnished man”.
Vale, David Leckie, former CEO of both Channel Nine and Channel Seven. Died overnight, aged 70.
An unreconstructed, unvarnished man – but a legendary tv executive of his time.
— 💉 Peter FitzSimons💉 (@Peter_Fitz) July 20, 2021