“Larger than life”, “irascible”, “vulgar”, “eloquent” and “charming” are just a few of the terms used to describe the man who dominated the Australian broadcast media and was also famous for concluding agreements over a long period of alcohol. lunch at his local, the Woollahra Hotel, while he was in a meeting room filled with curse words.
Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine, said Mr Leckie is a television giant.
“He established at Nine the culture of excellence that still exists in our DNA today. “
Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine
“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,” he said.
“He loved his family and many of us kept in touch as friends even after he left. He established at Nine the culture of excellence that still exists in our DNA today and we thank him for it.
Seven West Media Managing Director James Warburton said: “Inspirational, engaging, loud, passionate and at times famous, he was an amazing salesperson and intuitive TV programmer. “
“Without a doubt, he was the best TV executive this country has ever seen and an important influence and mentor to so many people and careers. He has been called the last of the rock star CEOs before and I would say that he was. was a pretty good description.
Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes described Mr Leckie as a close friend, who helped revive the fortunes of the Seven Network when he took the helm in 2003.
“David has achieved the turnaround quickly and efficiently, building a winning team, financial and programming model, which has allowed us to become the leader in the television industry for many years,” he said. .
“He had a magnificent understanding of television and what people wanted to enjoy, whether it was news and current affairs or light entertainment programming, and he was successful in all aspects of his leadership from Seven. “
Former Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks, who was first hired by Mr. Leckie, described the “huge influence” Mr. Leckie had over many senior executives in the industry today.
“Sure, he knew when to challenge, but he also knew when to be supportive,” Mr. Marks said.
“With that rare blend of both business and creative skills. And an ability to bring people together around a common goal. He will be sorely missed.”
Among his closest friends and associates for more than 40 years was former Seven and Nine CIO Peter Meakin, who now consults the Ten Network.
“David was a lot of things, but when he believed he was right, he held on. I’ve seen him go up against moguls like Kerry Packer, ”he said.
“He wasn’t afraid to face them when he felt he had the facts behind him. I remember the day Kerry Packer called me to say “I just got rid of your mate”, but David took it in his stride and moved on.
“He might be a fierce critic, but beneath the gruff exterior there was a very sensitive person, I think he would be surprised at how many people actually liked him.”
Mr Meakin said he had visited Mr Leckie in the Southern Highlands in recent months and although his friend seemed fragile, he remained positive about the future.
“He was determined to get his health back… and he was still so opinionated on things. He never lost that.
Some of Mr. Leckie’s personality conflicts remained unresolved until his death, his famous falling out with James Packer remained a bridge never to be rebuilt.
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