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David Leckie ends 13 year association with Seven Network

One Australia’s most successful and colourful Australian TV executives David Leckie is ending his association with the Seven Network after 13 years.

Leckie is the man credited with turning around the fortunes of Seven in the mid-2000s, when as CEO he masterminded a programming revolution which saw him deliver consecutive ratings years wins, with the network on course to seal its 11th win in a row in the coming weeks.

david leckie oblong

End of an era: Leckie

He was replaced as CEO of Network Seven by then programming boss Tim Worner in 2010, and stepped down as CEO of Seven West Media in mid-2012 due to ill health, but was kept on as an advisor until this week.

While The Australian claims Leckie is moving because he has been offered a full-time media gig, the Australian Financial Review’s Rear Window column says he is retiring once and for all.

Before Seven Leckie led rival Nine Network from 1990 to 2001, before being sacked by owner Kerry Packer in 2001, when he was picked up by Kerry Stokes and bought in to transform Seven.

He is also noted as one of the most colourful media characters of his generation, a point highlighted in the affidavit from his former sales boss James Warburton who claimed Leckie called media buyers “fuckwits” and “dopes” after Warburton announced he was off to lead rival Network Ten.

James Warburton

James Warburton

In the affidavit, which became public during the prolonged legal stoush between Seven and Ten over Warburton’s appointment, he claimed Leckie told him:

“You know, this afternoon I’ve got to call all those fuckwit media buyers and tell them you have left Seven.”

“You mean all our clients, David?”

“Thanks. They are all fuckwits. They are dopes. None of them are any good.”

Seven has been approached for comment.

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