David Leckie

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David Leckie
Born(1951-05-04)4 May 1951
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died20 July 2021(2021-07-20) (aged 70)
Robertson, New South Wales, Australia
Education Newington College
Macquarie University
OccupationMedia executive
Years active1977–2017
Known for Seven West Media (CEO), former association with Nine Network
Barbara Spence

Skye McLeod
(m. 1995)
Parent(s)Ron and Joyce Leckie

David John Leckie (4 May 1951 20 July 2021) was an Australian media manager, best known as a network television executive; he served as the chief executive officer of Seven West Media from 2003 to 2012 [1] and previously at the Nine Network for more than 20 years.


Leckie maintained a role in the media company as executive director of media at Seven Group Holdings, which holds investments in Seven West, earthmoving company WesTrac and Agricultural Bank of China. [2]

Early life and education

Leckie was born in Sydney [3] on 4 May 1951. [4] His father, Ron, was head of the transport division at Unilever; his mother was Joyce. [5] He was their first child, [3] and he had two brothers, Stuart and Ian. [4] Leckie was raised on the North Shore, [5] and attended Newington College from 1962 to 1968. [6] He then studied at Macquarie University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in economic and financial studies. He subsequently worked for Saatchi & Saatchi in London and travelled around Europe. [5]


Leckie first worked as a salesman for Nine Network starting in 1977. [5] He later became its managing director in 1990. [3] Under his leadership, the network spent all but six weeks atop the television ratings for the next decade. Nine's dominance over its rivals began to diminish in 2001, when a new ratings system was established. He was consequently dismissed by Kerry Packer in January 2001 . [5] Later that same year, he was appointed a trustee of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust. [7]

Leckie joined Seven Network in 2003, at the invitation of Kerry Stokes. Although it struggled during his first several months at the helm – culminating with a 13-year low in audience share in 2004 – the network's fortunes rebounded after it agreed an output deal with The Walt Disney Company. This enabled Seven to broadcast popular American shows in 2005, such as Desperate Housewives and Lost . A key part of Leckie's success was differentiating the network from Nine, appealing instead to a more casual, suburban audience. [5] He resigned as CEO of Seven West Media in 2012, but continued advising the company for four years. [8] [9] He was brought out of retirement in March 2020 to serve as an executive mentor, including to his protege James Warburton. [3] [5]

Personal life

Leckie's first marriage was to Barbara Spence. [5] Together, they had one child named Tim. [4] Leckie married his second wife, Skye, in 1995. They met while she was public relations chief at David Jones Limited, and they remained married until his death. Together, they had two children, Harry and Ben. [5] [9]

Leckie cut his finger in a garage door in 2008. [3] [5] This injury led to septicemia, resulting in his being placed in an induced coma at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney. [5] His health did not completely recover from that infection, [8] and he later scaled back on his engagements in order to recuperate. [5] [10]

Leckie died on the morning of 20 July 2021 in Robertson, New South Wales. He was 70, and suffered from a long illness prior to his death. [3] [9]

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  1. Who's Who in Australia (Crown Content Melb, 2007), p. 1224: "Leckie, David John (1951–)"
  2. "AAP, Seven West appoints new boss", Yahoo! Finance Australia.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "David Leckie, one of Australia's former leading television executives, dies aged 70". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 de Ruyter, Troy (20 July 2021). "Legendary TV boss David Leckie dies at the age of 70". The Sunday Times. Perth. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Samios, Zoe; Steffens, Miriam (20 July 2021). "'Big Wave (Dave)': Vale David Leckie 1951–2021". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  6. Newington College Register of Past Students 1863–1998 (Syd, 1999) pp 115
  7. Wu, Crystal (20 July 2021). "Legendary TV executive David Leckie dies aged 70". Sky News Australia. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  8. 1 2 Hornery, Andrew (20 July 2021). "'Last of the rock star CEOs': Television boss David Leckie dead at 70". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  9. 1 2 3 "'Television giant': former Nine and Seven executive David Leckie dies aged 70". The Guardian. London. Australian Associated Press. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 20 July 2021.
  10. Hornery, Andrew (16 April 2008). "Seven chief in induced coma". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 16 April 2008.