Legendary former Australian TV executive David Leckie has died at the age of 70 at his home in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.
His wife Skye and sons Harry and Ben made the announcement in a family statement on Tuesday.
“It is with immense sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved and beloved 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 of Seven West Media until 2012, before becoming a consultant and leaving the company in 2016.
Prior to Seven, he ran the Nine network from 1990 to 2001.
Nine CEO Mike Sneesby said Leckie has established a “culture of excellence” for the company.
“David Leckie was a television giant,” he said in a statement.
“He has contributed immensely to the success we have all shared with him here at Nine, his instinct and leadership heralded the golden age of Australian television.”
Tributes to the media personality have flocked online.
Retired political reporter Laurie Oakes tweeted that Leckie was a “great CEO.”
“Supported me when there was pressure, even from [media tycoon] Kerry Packer, ”he wrote.
Nine News chief presenter Peter Overton tweeted that Leckie gave him “huge opportunities” at the station.
“He had a powerful personality and an extraordinary sense of television,” Overton wrote.
TV Presenter Sonia Kruger tweeted: “Tall, Bold, Brash and Brilliant … I had the pleasure and privilege of working with the legendary David Leckie and loved every minute of it.”
Columnist Peter FitzSimons described the “legendary” television executive as an “unrebuilt and unvarnished man.”