Seven CEO: “Nine is f***ed, TEN a ‘pocket money’ network”

Australia’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy will join Sunday Night as key programmes on Seven’s Sunday night line up in 2009. The shows will air at different times of the year to help prop up the key night that Seven needs to address.

“Sunday night has been our problem slot,” acknowledges Seven CEO David Leckie. “If we grab the territory there it’s all over. I reckon it is all over. I’ve been in the business a long time. I’ve never seen the ratings landscape better for us.”

In today’s Australian newspaper, Leckie is quoted as lashing out at TEN CEO Grant Blackley, and said Nine would be “f***ed” without Gordon Ramsay.

“As I read it in the press he (David Gyngell) said ‘I’d be f***ed if it wasn’t for Gordon Ramsay’. “Well, they’ve killed Gordon Ramsay.”

Mr Leckie said he told advertisers he awoke from his induced coma mid-year to find a bloke he called “Greg Clackley” saying Seven would not be No1 this year and that Australian Idol and (the axed) Big Brother were amazing powerhouses.

“I don’t reckon he’s much good,” Mr Leckie said.

Mr Leckie said Mr Blackley’s comment that Seven’s slow start “would continue throughout the year”, was “ridiculous”.

“All he seems to be doing is running around buying irrelevant sports to put on his HD channel. If I was (TEN’s programming chief) David Mott I wouldn’t know where to start getting 120 hours of prime-time television (to replace Big Brother).”

Mr Leckie even dubbed TEN’s audience the “pocket-money generation”. He predicted TEN would “struggle to get anyone to watch them” next year, given flagging ratings for Australian Idol and challenged his rivals to reveal their 2009 programming line-ups.

A TEN spokeswoman responded saying: “We look forward to giving the details of our 2009 schedule in due course.”

TV Tonight can reveal that’s set to happen early next month.

Mr Leckie also seized on Nine chief executive David Gyngell’s comments to advertisers in July that he “might not be standing here” if the Ramsay shows had not rated well. “That was a fluke,” Mr Leckie said.

Asked if he was saying Nine was “f***ed”, Mr Leckie said: “I have said it for the last two days.”

Nine spokesman David Hurley hit back, saying, Mr Leckie was “a danger to shipping whenever he’s let loose in public”.

“Nine’s performance this year must have included lots of ‘flukes’ because year-on-year we’ve grown 14.6 per cent, 10.9 per cent and 7.0 per cent on the three key demographics (16-39s, 18-49s and 25-54s, respectively), while Seven has shed substantial audience across all three,” Mr Hurley said.

Mr Leckie said it was “undeniable” Seven had more depth of programming, but said the network would not rest on its laurels. “We haven’t been arrogant and we’re not going to be,” he said.

Arrogance: (noun) an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

Source: The Australian



  1. franz chong

    It would be good if they moved Greys and Private Practice back to Sundays and make Thursday Nights after Ghost Whisperer Earl,Family Guy,How I met your Mother and American Dad prior to Scrubs while keeping the rest of the week as it is.

  2. It’s easy fix for Ten – they should start airing the shows people actually want and stop juggling time slots. Another key thing would be to allow shows to have a full run without taking them off the air a few episodes in. No one will watch Ten because of the inconsistancy.

    And why exactly is Ramsay gone? I was hanging out for the new season and it’s gone! Hopefully CSI will indeed be a saving grace for Nine, because right now there is next to nothing on. All my shows are on Monday night now (Top Gear, CSI, Supernatural and Torchwood), with only a scattering of others during the week (Frindge, The Mentalist, CSI: NY). There’s nothing on Seven that remotely interests me.

    What the hell happened to good television?

  3. Hey David
    was it your intention to cut the last part of the N to make it look like
    it was supposed to be Sever?
    Well it did it’s purpose when Leckie ranting about how high and mighty
    seven is, but i sure doubt it..

  4. “At least TEN has guts and determination to try new stuff. They’ve had BB running for a LONG time and Idol has been running for 5 years now. They’ve started SYTYCD. At least TEN have their own reality shows and they dont take the easy way out and buy everything from the US.”

    Actually, Ten is the network with probably the most American reality shows. They’ve aired heaps of seasons of American reality series like the US version of SYTYCD and America’s Next Top Model. And that’s not even mentioning Idol, the Aussie SYTYCD, Biggest Loser and BB also being based on overseas reality shows which are pretty much the same, only with slight tweaking of the formats. I can’t think of any American reality series on Seven, apart from The Amazing Race and Beauty and the Geek which is shown at like 11:30pm sporadically. Nine had some success with airing the US Wipeout that seems to have died now.

    P.S. I agree Jerome, that photo is hilarious. He looks like he’s about to burst into song.

  5. The networks I support: CBS, NBC, and FOX.

    Our networks have sucked too much loyalty out of me, so I will not be supporting either one of them any time soon.

  6. i really don’t think leckie should make any more public appearances.

    all of this aside i am glad that 7 is being sucessful, shows that there is another competitor in the system.

    My prediction: I think ’09 will be a very competitive year. unless ch9 pull heaps of sucessful new products out of the hat ch7 will win purely on this years momentum. which i guess means it will be exciting for us on this site

    At the moment what ch9 has going for them is:
    -2.5 men (can’t possibly last much longer)
    -CSI’s (we’ll see how that goes tonight)
    -60 mins (almost a certain success story, could be challenged by 7s “Sunday night)
    – flashpoint (lets hope it doesn’t go the same way as Fringe aka. flop)

    i don’t think underbelly will pull the numbers that it did this year, gordon ramsay is well and truly gone, aussi wipeout and ladette will not be as very sepctacular. I tip sea patrol to be the dark horse.

    i can see myself supporting 9 nxt year purely because i like to see the network that starts at the bottom work their way up (used to be 7). This year i have been a 7 extremist

  7. I hope Nine comes out a annouces a really strong like-up and beats them next year. Then he will look like a really big fool! And that will be funny. I just hope Nine hold their dignity and let it slide. Why waste their breath with a loser like him?

  8. Hope that network goes down really bad so he gets fired. What stupid CEO would say that kind of stuff about another network. Bloody w**ker!

    At least TEN has guts and determination to try new stuff. They’ve had BB running for a LONG time and Idol has been running for 5 years now. They’ve started SYTYCD. At least TEN have their own reality shows and they dont take the easy way out and buy everything from the US.

    I. don’t. think. so.

  9. i don’t think the arrogant image works for a tv network i always thought that ch9 was the arrogant network (maybe something to do with Eddie McG)

    moving shows to sundays can be their death (ie. rove, DWTS, greys) i think DH should hold onto its mondays so that it can keep any of its fragile audience that it has left. It is established a good audience there.

    is he serious keeping DWTS on sunday this was probably the soul reason it had pulmmeted from safe looking numbers. I could understand if this year was a test BUT IT DIDN’T WORK now put it back on a weekday.

    i never understood the importance to win sunday it doesn’t even get that much extra viewers than a weekday, kill the good shows.

    Just wondering. how will this work with the time slots will “sunday night” be on at 6:30 so that DWTS can start at 7:30 because i was assuming that “sunday night would go all year.

    ps. that is a funny photo

  10. I’m glad Seven are on top, at least they have quality content unlike Nine which finds a horse and flogs it to death until the audience gets sick of it. (Ramsay, Attenborough, 2.5 men). The fact they’re showing 2.5 men 10 times a week showcases the terrible calibre of programming on their channel which falls short in both quality and originality. The only thing holding Nine up six months ago were CBS cop shows and Gordon Ramsay. The only good thing they’ve made this year is Underbelly, and that was many months ago now.

    As for Leckie, some may love him, some may hate him, but he’s telling it like it is. Ten really have flopped this year massively with BB axeing, the only shows that did well for them were The Biggest Loser and SYTYCD. NCIS got off to a good start but the new season hasn’t been rating too highly. As for Nine, without 2.5 men they’d be a floating corpse by now.

  11. Arrogant (v): see “David Leckie”.

    God he sounds like a buffoon. For 30 years Nine won the ratings, and then for once they win in 2007 and Mr. Leckie thinks he’s the bee’s knees.

    Coma-inducing factual shows and the terrible tabloid Today Tonight may be enough for Seven to win this ratings year, but not enough to retain my viewership!

  12. The news I’m hearing is that Leckie will most likely retire at the end of this year or at end of 09 at the latest so as to make a safe getaway before 9 wins in 2010 with the Cth games.

  13. Blackley needed to be put in his place and to the winner go the spoils, I don’t think Leckie said anything that was incorrect, its a bit rich for the perennial #3, (sometimes #4) network CEO to even commentate on matters to do with the #1 network.

  14. QUOTE “Leckie should do the right thing now – resign and let a younger/less battle weary person lead 7 into 2009 and beyond. His reecent comments clearly demonstrate that he is burnt out.”

    You’re crazzzzzzzzzzzzzy!

  15. Rumour has it that the indomitable CEO was three sheets to the wind on commencing his speech….

    A little birdie also reported that he even bagged out Sonia Kruger’s outfit in front of the whole room. Nice work Leckie. He managed to lose all dignity for his own network while slagging off the others.

    Talk about a futile exercise. Has anyone checked to see that he wasn’t in another coma when he opened his mouth to release that vitriol?


  16. 2009 will be a new year a clean slate for ratings.

    TEN Sport will do fine with a dedicated schedule rather the ad hoc approach at the moment. Leckie might believe people yearn for VB and snaggs 7 days a week but under 40’s are a different lot to his generation and what they watch (and don;t watch) changes fast. Ten focus on profitability rather than ratings but lowish recent ratings don’t help.

    All FTA is screwed until multiple channels start because IPTV, Pay and DVD offer fast choice. A slowing economy doesnt bode well for local shows either except for the international english shows like sea patrol, rush (dubbed them as you wish – CSI of the south pacific).

  17. Leckies a Dinosaur from the 80’s and 90’s. A lot of people forget that it was Leckie who decided to fill 7’s 2004 schedule with reality shows such as “The Simple Life” and garbage such as “100% Tony Squires”. History will show that 7 bombed in 2004 – Leckies first full year of leadership. Only some lucky US output deals have helped 7 get to number 1.

    Leckie should do the right thing now – resign and let a younger/less battle weary person lead 7 into 2009 and beyond. His reecent comments clearly demonstrate that he is burnt out.

  18. lol..David Leckie is good value, he used to shoot his mouth off like this all the time when he was at Nine back in the day

    seven are going to win this year comfortably and them winning week after week is getting a bit boring so its nice to have things like this to keep things interesting till the end of November…

  19. I cant believe they want to put Desperate Housewives on sunday nights instead of mondays. Its supposed to be Greys on Sunday, and DH on monday, they cant change that. Does City Homicide run all year round though??

    Mr Leckie is funny, and i love it when people are so big-headed about things. He should really watch his mouth.

    Cant wait for Channel 10s line up. Dont watch it much, but then again, if theyre going to air good shows and then axe is a month later, I wont bother watching that channel, only for Idol and Rove (occassionally).

  20. At least 10HD is becoming a a very good alternative channel, I praise them for the F1 live coverage, the NASCAR and Nationwide Cup, the NFL, way more HD programming separate to their SD channel and showing US shows which are not huge hits here as well as the reruns of X-Files etc.

    At least Network 10 have pulled their finger out and making an effort in HD content, not just a ‘simulcast’ to their SD channel. .. seriously

  21. He is right about Ten though.
    Ten seemed to have pitched at the sms voting generation (mice revenue deal no doubt)

    Nine surely will wake up from their slumber err arrogance.
    methinks NINE just thought as they were the One (, and had all the golden gooses like Quiz shows in the past.) ..that the viewing public would just stay watching whatever they trotted out got us.

    Wrong !!

    Give the public choice,variety and cut out the crap.

    P.S. Mr. Leckie, it is always nice to gloat, problem is what happens if boot is on other foot. Not smart to sink the foot in, just be happy.

  22. Oh get of your high horse David Leckie. Your idiotic network decisions was the final push I needed to never to watch your programming ever again. In a few years, they will all be f***ed.

  23. What an ungrateful bastard. Nine made him who he is, and it’s where he gained ALL of his knowledge and experience.

    This outburst is completely unprofessional.

    Seven has done very well these past few years and will continue to do so for a while, but only because they used Nine as a role model.

    What all the networks should be focusing on is entetaining us. Full stop.

  24. “Mr Leckie said it was “undeniable” Seven had more depth of programming,”

    This I have to disagree with – if more depth means fly on the wall doco-dramas night after night then count me out thanks. That may fly with the elderly – but not me!

  25. “All he seems to be doing is running around buying irrelevant sports to put on his HD channel. If I was (TEN’s programming chief) David Mott I wouldn’t know where to start getting 120 hours of prime-time television (to replace Big Brother).”

    I love this quote – ten’s situation in a nutshell!

  26. mmmmm not being arrogant, well that sounds pretty arrogant to me! How about the wonderful olympic coverage Mr Leckie?

    I am sure if Seven had Ramsey they would flog it to death! Seven has become so egotistical and arrogant Leckie is the worst. Gee people it’s just Television in the grand scheme of things it is only entertainment and there are more important things in life.

    Hope nine can get a few good shows then crush 7 in the ratings, i’d love to see what they would do then. Oh and your sundays suck because you took off ugly betty. Not to mention you are always changing your program times. That’s very annoying and very arrogant.

    Good luck children I hope you sort out your toys and play nice!

  27. Now now no needing to be cocky Mr. Leckie..
    I haven’t laughed so much on what I have just read.. Nine is f***ed!!!!!
    But hang on didn’t Seven want Gordon Ramsay (7/05/08) to have a go at their show Dancing with the stars for extra ratings just because he is doing so well on Nine… I am a fan of Gordon’s but wouldn’t like to see him dance on that boring show..

    I for one is an avid Nine watcher, I grew up watching the station. Through thick and thin, and having to dodging Seven as much as I can and seeing Mr. Leckie’s scathing attack on the rival networks, that is low. As for their line up on Sunday next year some of these shows that he has mentioned have been shown in the States and clearly people can acquire them and watch them at their own time instead of waiting for Sunday to watch the show. Time to grow up Mr. Leckie your comments are just so lame and hope your plan on Sunday does backfire on you.. I would be be one of many will be laughing out loud…

  28. Oh dear, Leckie. Actually, oh dear everybody.

    Zip up your pants and put those things away boys. Public urination is smelly, unsightly and leaves a nasty mess.

  29. i’m exited to hear ten will be making an announcement about their 2009 line-up. we know merlin will be part of it, but they foolishly let go of dollhouse, so who knows could be good or bad. ten can be pretty good at forethought and planning when they try, they are the only commercial station that actually put some effort into their HD station and made a real go of it with some fan favourite shows and not just stuff that was axed after 1 season. plus they are the only ones who advertised the extra station with 7 just launching silently in the middle of the night.

    speaking of HD, repeating all the shows that aired on there for the regional people and those without equipment or who were late to upgrade and missed some stuff would give them a whole lot of hours. but since this stuff got put there due to low ratings and many of us did watch on HD or gave up hope of ever seeing them and bought the dvds or downloaded, i don’t think they would do this as all they care about is ratings.

    ps. love it when dictionary definitions can be used like that, he only has himself to blame for providing such a quote, leaving himself wide open.

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