Cook began his career in Newspapers in Perth before moving on to television. His career took him east to work at the most senior levels of the Nine, Seven and TEN networks.
He also served as Director of News for SKY News in London, which led to his key role in the establishment of SKY News Australia in 1995.
After serving as founding COO, he went onto be a director, at various times, for BSkyB, Nine and Seven.
He later joined the SKY News staff as News Director and helped establish SKY News New Zealand.
In recent years, despite his advancing illness, Ian continued to contribute to the network, offering advice and mentoring journalists.
Australian News Channel CEO, Angelos Frangopoulos said: “Ian was a great mentor to the many journalists at SKY News and had been a driving force in the establishment of SKY News Australia.
“Ian has left a lasting legacy in Australian journalism, guiding hundreds of young people through their careers, offering advice and support. He had a fearsome reputation for ensuring attention to detail which was driven by his passion for the craft.
“He was very much loved by all at SKY News. For me, he was both a mentor and friend. I will him miss greatly. Our thoughts are with his family.”
SKY News Political Editor, David Speers said: “Cookie was a great Newsroom leader, never an easy job. He was also the best mentor of young journalists I’ve seen. He was always willing to tell me when I was on the right track or the wrong track. I respected him hugely and will miss him dearly.”
SKY News New Zealand Anchor, Eric Young said: “Ian was instrumental in helping establish SKY News New Zealand. Naturally he’ll be missed as one of the giants of Australian television News, but his role in creating an outpost in New Zealand should never be forgotten. I was one of those lucky enough to have had Ian’s guidance in the Newsroom and his friendship out of it.”
Statement from Tim Worner, CEO, Seven West Media, and chairman of Sky News Australia, on Ian Cook:
Ian was a great newsman.
He was spirited and talented, and he made an extraordinary contribution to journalism in Australia.
He has mentored and led the development and careers of many of today’s journalists.
He played a key role at Seven News in his time at our company.
And he was a powerhouse at Sky News.
He was still doing great work for Sky News as recently as a few weeks ago. He and his family were and are so proud of that.
Like the fighter everyone who worked with and for him knew him to be, he fought the unbeatable right to the end. Our thoughts are with his family.