Australian TV exec David Leckie, who led Seven, Seven West Media and the Nine Network during a long career, has died following a long illness aged 70.
Leckie was CEO at Seven in Oz until 2010, when he took charge of parent group Seven West Media, where he stayed for two years before becoming an advisor, eventually stepping down in 2016.
Prior to that, Leckie had been in charge of the Nine Network for more than a decade, from 1990 to 2001.
Nine’s current CEO Mike Sneesby was among those to pay tribute to the exec, describing Leckie as having set a “culture of excellence” and added that he 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.”
Seven West Media’s MD & CEO, James Warburton, said: “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.”
Leckie is survived by his wife, Skye, and sons Harry and Ben, who confirmed his passing in a statement.