Former SAS7 managing director Dennis Earl, who started with the Adelaide station in 1965, has died, aged 86.
He has been in ill health for the past 12 months.
His career started when the station first launched into South Australia (originally SAS10). He became Managing Director in December 1987, shortly before the signal changed to SAS7 and continued until his retirement in March 1997.
Earl was instrumental in establishing the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation of South Australia (CRF) in 1976. He was elected Chairman in 1992, continuing for 24 years. Under his guidance the Foundation delivered nearly $42M (today’s measured worth) to over 950 children’s research projects in South Australia.
A Seven statement said, “The entire team at the Seven Network is deeply saddened by the death of a wonderful colleague, friend and mentor, Dennis Earl.
“One of the founding fathers of SAS with a career spanning more than three decades, Earl will be remembered as a true gentleman of the small screen – trustworthy and compassionate, a figurehead to many in the industry today. We extend our deepest sympathies to Earl’s family.”
Jane Doyle, 7NEWS Adelaide Presenter, said: “The death of Dennis is a great loss, not only for his family, but for all those who worked with him at SAS throughout his long and distinguished television career. He was a gentleman and displayed qualities a true leader needs to engender trust and loyalty. He was one of the key people to convince me to join Seven News in 1989. His compassion and vision will live on through the Children’s Research Foundation he was instrumental in founding – a fitting legacy for a lovely man.”
Andy Kay, Channel 7 Adelaide General Manager and Head of Olympics, said: “There are so many people in the television industry that have Dennis to thank for being the driving force behind their careers and I am proud to say I’m one of them. He was boss, friend, mentor and humanitarian all wrapped in one. And his leadership of the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation is major reason it’s contributed to create a better existence for many South Australian families.”