Media’s biggest names pay tribute to retiring Nine CEO David Gyngell’s contribution to Nine

Rivals and colleagues have paid tribute to David Gyngell’s leadership of Nine Entertainment Co after he stepped down from the CEO role yesterday.

Gyngell: stepping down after an 8 year stint as CEO

Gyngell: stepping down after an 8 year stint as CEO

Among those leading the tributes were legendary media buyer, and now chairman of FreeTV, Harold Mitchell who told Mumbrella: “I have know David Gyngell for many years, after having had a wonderful relationship with his father Bruce.



“They are an outstanding television family and he, like his father, are a now a part of television’s history. Television as a medium has been constantly changing and David Gyngell was ahead of those changes.”

In a rare outbreak of unity in the TV world Gyngell’s competitors also praised his achievements him with arch rivals Seven and Ten each citing his contribution to the sector and describing him as a “defining” figure within Nine.

“I will miss David,” said Tim Worner, CEO of Seven West Media. “I will miss his enthusiasm and camaderie.

“He has defined Nine and done a lot to promote the free to air television industry.”



Paul Anderson CEO of Network Ten said: “David has been a terrific advocate for free-to-air television, with a real passion for the industry, its people and the great content we all produce.

“We wish him all the best for the next chapter in his life and we congratulate Hugh on his appointment.”



Grant Blackley, who went head to head with Gyngell during his time at Ten and now leads regional broadcaster Southern Cross Austereo, described Gyngell as “the most committed and passionate executive the industry has seen for a long time.”

“David has been instrumental in guiding Nine through a troubled period,” said Blackley. “He is willing to back both his judgement and his team on their creative ideas and he has not been afraid of taking risks. I look forward to reading about his next chapter which I’m sure will not be far off.”

Some of Australia’s most senior media buyers have also acknowledged Gygnell as someone who leave a large vacancy that his successor Nine board director Hugh Marks will have to fill.

Luke Littlefield CEO of Dentsu Aegis told Mumbrella: “David is an outstanding leader for Nine and the industry. A genuine, honest, no nonsense bloke who was both a friend and a man of his word.

“He will be missed by both Nine and the industry as a whole and I sincerely wish him, Leila and his family all the very best. ”



Leigh Terry CEO of Omnicom Group noted: “He has left big shoes to fill.

“Given where the business was at – on the brink of receivership – the same time Ted (his son) was due to selling ACP and Ticketek, plus sorting out the MSN partnership and launching Stan with Fairfax, he’s had a hell of a great run and deserves all the plaudits am sure he’ll get,” said Terry.

“He’s had good people around him for sure, but leaders lead. A TV and digitally focused NEC gives the new regime under Hugh and Simon (Kelly) a great platform on which to build. I am sure given his lifetime involvement he will still passionate want Nine to continue on that legacy he leaves.”

Asked about the challenges facing Marks, Littlefield noted that Gyngell had left the business in a good state: “Hugh wouldn’t be the only one who has successfully filled large shoes in the past.

“Given his experience, the calibre of Nine and the organisation that David is leaving, I’m sure that Hugh is well set for success during this era of disruption in our industry.  Disruption brings opportunity and I’m sure Hugh will successfully lead Nine through its next evolution

“(Gygnell) will be missed but I also reckon our industry has a reputation for bringing people in who have had to fill large shoes before and continue to take business to a new level.”

Nic Christensen 


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