David Leckie.

Tributes are flowing for “giant of television” David Leckie, who died today aged 70.

Leckie was chief executive officer of Nine Network from 1990 to 2001, before joining the Seven Network in 2003.

He held several senior roles with the Seven group, including CEO of Seven Network, managing director and CEO of Seven Media Group and Seven West Media, and a director of Seven Network Limited, Seven West Media, and Seven Group Holdings.

According to a statement from wife Skye Leckie, the former television executive passed away at Mulberry Farm, Robertson after a long illness this morning and was surrounded by his loving family.

His loss has been felt across the industry, with Nine CEO Mike Sneesby among those pay tribute.

“David Leckie was a giant of television,” he said.

“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.”

Seven West Media dhairman Kerry Stokes said Leckie “leaves a great legacy” behind.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Due to COVID restrictions, Leckie will be farewelled at a small, private service that will be livestreamed.

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