David Leckie, who led the Nine and Seven networks to ratings victory has died at the age of 70.
Most recently, he was the CEO of Seven West Media until June 2012. He had been brought in as an executive director at Seven Group Holdings.
Throughout the 1990s, Leckie cemented Channel Nine as Australia’s number one rated network. He knew TV better than any other Australian executive.
THE LAST ROCK STAR CEO
Leckie died at his farm in Robertson, in NSW’s Southern Highlands.
“With immense sadness we advise the passing of our adored and much-loved husband and father, David Leckie. He was surrounded by his loving family,” read a statement from Leckie’s wife Skye, and sons Tim, Harry and Ben.
Leckie had been frail for the past year and had been in palliative care before his death due to unspecified health issues.
As recently as last year, he was brought back to the Seven network to mentor key executives following a management shakeup.
He is survived by his wife Sky and their children.
Leckie’s television career begin in 1977 in sales at the Nine Network in GTV, Melbourne.
In 1982, he was appointed Nine Network Sales Director at TCN in Sydney by legendary television boss Sam Chisholm.
In 2012 he was replaced by Tim Worner, but continued as a Director and consultant until 2016.
TRIBUTES FOR A LEGEND
Seven West Media Chairman, Kerry Stokes AC, said: “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.
“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.
Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, said: “David was a true legend of the Australian media industry and a loved part of the Seven family. Everyone at Seven will miss him enormously.
“Inspiring, engaging, loud, passionate and famously difficult at times, he was an extraordinary salesperson 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.
“David was the reason I got into television and was a great friend. My heartfelt sympathies go to Skye and their boys. There will only ever be one David Leckie. It was a great privilege to have known and worked with him.”
Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine, said: “David Leckie 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.
“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.”
Due to COVID restrictions in Sydney he will be farewelled at a small, private funeral. The service will be live streamed.
Adidas faces potential $320M Yeezy shoe write-off post-Kanye split
Adidas is contemplating a significant financial blow as it considers writing off $320 million worth of Yeezy shoes following its separation from music and fashion icon Kanye West.
The sportswear giant’s decision to sever ties with West’s Yeezy brand has left a mountain of unsold merchandise, threatening to dent the company’s balance sheet.
The partnership between Adidas and Kanye West, which began in 2013, had been immensely successful, with Yeezy shoes becoming a highly sought-after fashion statement.
However, recent controversies and disagreements between West and Adidas prompted the sportswear company to distance itself from the celebrity designer.
The massive inventory of Yeezy shoes now presents a dilemma for Adidas, as it grapples with finding a solution to deal with the surplus stock. A $320 million write-off could significantly impact the company’s financial performance in the short term.
Adidas is currently exploring various options, including discounting, donating, or repurposing the unsold inventory to mitigate the financial hit.
Warner Bros discovery warns of Hollywood’s ‘real risk’ post-strikes’
Warner Bros Discovery, has issued a stark warning regarding the ‘real risk’ that Hollywood faces in the aftermath of the recent strikes that have taken a considerable toll on the industry’s financial health.
The strikes, which disrupted film and television production for several weeks, resulted in substantial financial losses for studios, production companies, and countless industry professionals.
Warner Bros Discovery emphasised the necessity for a resilient and adaptable approach to navigate the ongoing challenges and uncertainties facing the film and television sector.
The conglomerate stressed the importance of implementing measures to mitigate such risks in the future, which include fostering better labour relations and contingency planning to safeguard against potential disruptions.
The message underlined the need for the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of content creation and distribution, particularly in the digital era.
This warning from Warner Bros Discovery highlights the need for the entertainment industry to recognise the ever-changing dynamics and economic challenges, and the importance of preparedness to maintain its prominent position in the global market.
MrBeast’s monumental 100 African wells sparks controversy
Philanthropic YouTuber MrBeast, known for his outlandish and extravagant charity stunts, recently financed the construction of 100 wells in Africa, providing clean drinking water to thousands of people.
While the philanthropic gesture is commendable on the surface, it has ignited a wave of controversy and criticism from various quarters.
Critics argue that MrBeast’s approach, although well-intentioned, might not be the most sustainable solution to Africa’s water crisis.
They question the long-term viability of these wells, raising concerns about maintenance and local ownership. Some have even labelled it as a publicity stunt, arguing that it merely scratches the surface of a much deeper issue.
On the other hand, MrBeast’s supporters laud his efforts in raising awareness and mobilising his enormous following to contribute to a worthy cause. They argue that any effort to alleviate the water crisis is a step in the right direction.
In the end, whether MrBeast’s 100 wells in Africa are a game-changing philanthropic success or a mere spectacle remains a subject of intense social debate.
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