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. 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.

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